French TV Companies Launch New Streaming Service to Take on Netflix, Amazon

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Public broadcaster France Televisions and privately owned M6 and TF1 groups will create an equally-owned OTT joint venture called Salto.

In an effort to fight off SVODs such as Amazon and Netflix, France’s three major television groups are joining forces to create a joint OTT platform in the hopes it retains viewers.

Public broadcaster France Televisions and privately owned M6 and TF1 groups will create an equally-owned joint venture as a stand-alone company. The alliance between the top three broadcasters is an effort to keep up with changes in consumer viewing habits, and marks what they call “an ambitious response to what the viewing public now expects.”

The platform will be called SALTO and offer news, special events, French and U.S. series, documentaries and films as well as exclusive content. It will offer at a variety of price points.

“SALTO will also play an active role in showcasing content from the French and European creative industries,” the broadcasters said. Netflix and Amazon face a proposed new European law to dedicate at least 30 percent of their programming to European content as well a fund TV series and films produced in Europe, which the new venture would seemingly easily surpass.

“I am delighted by the launch of this joint platform, which is a major development for the future of the French broadcasting industry. SALTO will be able to respond to the challenge of global platforms by offering a high-quality service to all our audiences and showcasing the best of the French and European creative industries,” said France Televsions CEO Delphine Ernotte Cunci.

France Televisions currently encompasses five nationwide channels (that number is expected to be trimmed to four in the future) and 24 regional broadcasts on France 3 with an average 28 percent audience share.

“For the TF1 Group, this project is in line with our stated commitment to openness and strategic cooperation with key industry players, both in France and in Europe. In the years ahead, it will give us the weapons we need to meet the challenges we face while meeting viewer expectations ever more effectively,” said TF1 CEO Gilles Pelisson.

TF1 Groupe is the top-rated private network with five channels including TF1, TMC and LCI news channel as well as its own studio and film production unit.

M6 Groupe CEO Nicolas Tavernost added: “As a group that has been profoundly committed to adapting to changes in digital technologies and viewing habits for many years, M6 is delighted that the top three French Television groups are joining forces to reflect and even accelerate changes in the TV industry, so that they can deliver what their audiences want.”