Amazon, Netflix in France next year, Canal+ leaks

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 12-10-2012

Canal Plus chief Bertrand Meheut has revealed at the French Council of State that online retailer Amazon is planning to launch the LOVEFiLM SVOD service in March 2013, while Netflix will arrive in early 2013.

LOVEFiLM is already available in UK, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Germany and claims 2 million subs. "Amazon will launch its SVOD service in France in March 2013," Meheut reportedly said to French new agencies. "We know it because our branch Studio Canal has been selling exclusive rights to Amazon for a launch of their service in March on the Kindle Fire."Following the Canalsat-TPS merger, Canal Plus was forbidden by French TV regulator CSA to keep VOD and SVOD rights exclusive for its own network.

Canal+, which is the first group to offer unlimited VOD via CanalPlay Infinity, is arguing that authorities should not stop a French group to be strong enough to face the upcoming, competition coming from US giants.

According to Canal+, Hollywood majors have not signed the local agreements, and their productions may not be covered by local rules and release timings.