Orange to rival Hulu

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly

French telco Orange is preparing the launch of its own VOD online portal for the end of this year, reports the French press.

Provisionally entitled Welles, this website is inspired by US platform Hulu, that currently plans expansion in Europe, and aims at offering an alternative to YouTube.

Videos would be freely accessible and revenues would come from advertising. Orange Vallée, Orange's internet development branch, hopes to be able to offer more than 500,000 shows, movies or TV series episodes.

To achieve its goal, Orange must now find studio and programming agreements and take online rights. Talks are said to be ongoing with most of the studios.

The group already gets the TV rights of more than 1,000 movies and series from Warner and HBO to feed its Orange Cinéma Séries channels.