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Fox Rolls Out VOD in France Via Canal Plus Partnership

Deal for ‘Fox Play’ could help Canal Plus fight Netflix

June 28, 2017 | Video

Fox Networks Group, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, has entered France’s video-on-demand (VOD) space with a service that was rolled out to paid subscribers of cable TV network Canal Plus this week.

The service, Fox Play, has been made available to users of Canal Plus’ own VOD service, CanalPlay, according to local trade publication Stratégies. However, Variety reports that the relationship isn’t exclusive, meaning Fox Play could conceivably become available via other streaming services.

In the near term, Fox Play could help boost CanalPlay’s standing in France’s VOD market, where no service has managed to attract an outright majority of users.

CanalPlay has been lodged in the middle of the pack among VOD services used by internet users in France for at least the past couple of years, according to RBC Capital Markets. Between May 2016 and May 2017, it slipped from third to fourth place in usage, overtaken by Netflix.

Video-on-Demand (VOD) Services Used by Internet Users in France to View Movies/TV Shows, May 2015-May 2017 (% of respondents)

Fox Play is available via TV, PC, smartphone and tablet, according to Variety. It offers streaming or offline viewing of several US TV series, including “The X-Files,” “Empire,” “Futurama” and “Bones,” as well as shows never aired in France like “Graceland” and “Baskets.” New content will be added monthly.

For Fox, the plan provides a way for the company to highlight its content to consumers in France in one place, and as part of an overarching brand.

“There is no Fox linear channel in France, so we’re seeing the launch of Fox Play as a great opportunity to develop the Fox brand on multiple devices,” Diego Londono, Fox Network Group’s COO for Europe and Africa, told Variety.

—Cliff Annicelli

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