TF1, M6, two of the three parent companies, sell their shares | Bot To News


Two of France’s top commercial channels, TF1 and M6, have decided to sell their stake in French streaming service Salto. Variety Confirmed. That leaves Salto without two of its three parent companies.

Launched in 2020 after several delays, the service was created by TF1, M6, France Televisions in an attempt to provide subscribers with a local alternative to Netflix (which now has over 13 million subscribers in France) and other global services.

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TF1 and M6’s decision to withdraw from Salto, taken during an oversight meeting on November 17, appears to have been motivated by several factors.

The company was valued at €45 million as of March, with annual revenue of €17.1 million in 2021. The service includes catch-up content from 19 different channels including TF1, France Télévisions and M6, as well as premieres of upcoming shows and new content available for streaming.

Sources close to French TV groups say their idea is to sell their stake but keep their content on the service. But even without M6 and TF1, Salto France’s broadcaster France Televisions will be left as its sole owner. But the pubcaster, which is tightening its purse strings, could follow in the footsteps of TF1 and M6. France Televisions president Delphine Ernot said France Televisions plans to exit Salto after TF1 and M6 announced their merger plans. At that time, TF1 and M6 returned to France Televisions saying they were taking over. But after their merger was abandoned due to antitrust concerns, they opted for a different strategy.

So Salto needs new owners to survive. The question is, who will come to Salto’s rescue? One potential candidate is Canal+ but Vivendi-owned banner Orange’s pay TV service OCS and film division are in exclusive talks with Orange Studios.

Salto currently has between 800 000 and 900 000 subscribers, more than double what it was in spring 2021, according to a report released today (November 21) by OTT NPA conceal Harris Interactive. But Saldo, which is only available as an OTT service, has suffered from its lack of set-top boxes. Salto has only one distribution agreement with French telecommunications group Bouygues. By comparison, Netflix has deals with all the major telecom groups, including market leaders Canal +, Orange, Free and SFR.

The news was first reported by French news agency La Lettre A.

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