France's CanalPlus Unveils New Netflix Rival With Showtime, FX Content

Patrick Harbron/FX
FX's 'The Americans'

The Vivendi-owned pay TV giant's Canal+Series will cost 6.99 euros per month and also stream Canal Plus programs and international shows, such as BBC America's 'Killing Eve,' from select other networks.

Just eight months after folding its CanalPlay subscription VOD service, CanalPlus is launching its latest Netflix rival, which will be called Canal+Series and stream content from its exclusive content deals with Showtime and FX, as well as CanalPlus' own originals.

That means series including CanalPlus' Versailles, Guyana and the upcoming CanneSeries opener Vernon Subutex will be on the streamer, alongside Showtime's Billions and SMILF and FX's What We Do in the Shadows, The Americans, Sons of Anarchy and Dexter, among others.

It will also feature handpicked global hits, including U.K. Channel 4's Catastrophe and BBC America's Killing Eve. The new season of Italian hit Gomorra will also stream on the service.

The SVOD service will ring up at 6.99 euros ($7.85) a month for one user, with tiers up to 11.99 euros ($13.50) covering four users. Netflix currently starts at 9.99 euros ($11.25) in France. The U.S. giant has roughly 5 million subscribers in the country, while CanalPlay went from a high of 800,000 in 2016 to 200,000 when it shuttered in June. It launched in 2011, while Netflix came on the local scene in 2014.

Rival OCS also has roughly 3 million subscribers for its SVOD service, which has exclusive rights for HBO series in France.

The service is series-centric, with films and sports available through classic subscriptions and its MyCanal service.

CanalPlus chair Maxime Saada said the new service is designed to "better respond to new public habits," and said the service will roll out internationally.

While Canal+Series will compete against Netflix, it's also a preemptive strike against the anticipated Salto, an SVOD service that is the brainchild of France Televisions head Delphine Ernotte and is designed to become a homegrown French competitor with the public broadcaster's content alongside that of leading broadcasters TF1 and M6. Salto is expected to launch this summer.