11.01 Europe/London, July 15, 2011 By Julian Clover

Canal+ CEO Bernard Mehut and Orange counterpart Stéphane Richard seal the deal

Orange will retain 66.66% of the equity in the Orange Cinema Series with Canal+ taking the remaining 33.33%, the two companies have announced.

The five premium channels Orange cinemax, Orange cinehappy, Orange cinenovo, Orange cinechoc and Orange cinegeant will retain their existing brands and related interactive services. Orange will continue to offer the bouquet to its subscribers, while Canal will now include the channels to subscribers of the CanalSat package. The two operators also plan to offer the bouquet to all comers.

“This project with the Canal+ Group is yet another illustration of the partnership strategy for content we presented in June 2010. Our goal is to promote the content of our production partners and to offer our customers innovative packages and services that build on the experience we have acquired in recent years and, of course, on our networks,” said Stéphane Richard, France Telecom Group chief executive officer

“This is a natural bridging of our respective know-how in technology and content production to make quality offers to all television viewers, accompanied by the most innovative services,” added Bertrand Meheut, CEO, Canal+ Group.

The plan has been rewritten on a number of occasions. At one point the equity was to be split 50/50 and the channels rolled into TPS Star. The new proposal is now subject to the review of employee groups.

Orange Cinema Series has 400,000 subscribers.