Movistar gives up on VOD exclusivity to gain Canal+

DetailsJuan Fernandez Gonzalez | 27 April 2015

As a consequence of its momentous decision to buy Canal+, Telefónica's TV Movistar platform has had to renounce exclusivity over video-on-demand (VOD) content, according to conditions imposed by Spain's telecoms watchdog.

movistartvTelefónica, which launched a Netflix-like platform half a year ago, Movistar Series, aiming to draw millennials consumption through blockbuster series and mobile broadcasting, is now facing a different scenario for the future of its VOD business. So far, Movistar Series had won exclusive VOD rights for HBO, Showtime and CBS series among others.

In addition to the VOD issue, Telefónica will have to share all its rights with other platforms, meaning Movistar TV will not have actual exclusivity over content, including series and movies from the American majors or sports events such as La Liga or the Champions League. Many of these are currently broadcast by Canal+.

After the acquisition is complete, Telefónica will actually be working as a content wholesaler, reselling its content to third platforms that are not in the position to compete against the large telco. In addition, Telefónica will have to broadcast through the new Movistar TV channels produced by third platforms.

All the conditions agreed between Telefónica and the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC), intend to avoid monopoly practices , as the merger between Movistar TV and Canal+ will result into a company owning nearly 70% of the market.