A+E Networks, France's Canal Plus Strike Partnership

The Disney-Hearst cable channel joint venture and Vivendi's pay-TV arm will launch new networks and also collaborate in other areas.

Cable channel operator A+E Networks and Vivendi-owned French pay TV giant Canal Plus on Tuesday unveiled a long-term strategic partnership that will include the launch of new pay-TV channels in France.

It also calls for collaboration in the areas of content, production and digital distribution.

The two companies said they will launch multiple channels in the second half of 2013 with "exclusive access" to A+E Networks’ catalog of top-rated factual entertainment programming. Details on the networks weren't immediately disclosed.

“A+E Networks operates leading global pay-TV brands, and we are very pleased to form this partnership with Canal+, the preeminent media group in France,” said Dean Possenniskie, managing director, EMEA at A+E Networks. “We have enjoyed a successful content relationship...and we believe this new partnership will create significant growth opportunities for both companies.”

Olivier Stroh, director of factual theme-based channels at Canal Plus, said: "This agreement will enable us to significantly enhance our offer of programs and promote one of the best international factual and entertainment brands to our subscribers. This is a natural alliance between two companies that have been dedicated to ambitious publishing of content for many years."

A+E Networks, a joint venture of Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corp., currently already operates 57 channels outside the U.S. in more than 150 territories, reaching more than 330 million subscribers in 38 languages. A+E Networks operates such channels as A&E, Lifetime and History.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai