After A+E Networks and Canal+ Group concluded a long-term content deal covering acquisition, production and digital distribution, Dean Possenniskie, MD EMEA, A+E Networks, talks to RTVN about the deal.
The deal involves the Canal+ pay-TV factual channels Planète+ and free DTT networks D8 and D17. The A+E pay-TV channels will be launched by the end of 2013.
Commenting on what the Canal+ deal will change with regard to the French market, Possenniskie said: "We've been selling factual programming and lifestyle programmes to French TV like TF1, France Télévisions, M6 and Canal+ for a while. But before launching any branded channel, we were looking for the right partner. We feel editorially close to Canal+ Group and Planète+ channels, which for instance have broadcast the documentary series Mankind, The Story of All of Us. Our partnership came first from the distribution activity. We also licensed the reality series Pawn Stars to D8 and we are currently exploring format opportunities. In all territories we've launched in, we have always been very careful to find the perfect partner, whether it is BSkyB in UK, or Canal+ in France.
He said that although he has a pretty good idea about what channels the company will launch on Canalsat, the company prefers to wait before announcing them. There will be more than one, and all picked up from the company's existing portfolio of 57 channels. He said A+E is focused in bringing successful TV networks.
With regard to linear channels, Possenniskie commented: "We'll be innovative in that sector through our channels and with the support of the Canalsat platform. France is the last major Western European market where we don't have channels; we're very cautious to succeed."
Commenting on the 2013 international roll-out of recently rebranded channel H2, he said: "H2, which is a complementary service to The History Channel, delivering big event and more informative programming, has already started in Canada and is set to launch this year in Latin America and in May in the UK on both BSkyB and Virgin Media pay-TV platforms."