Canal + and Netflix, big winners of the change in the chronology of the media

A film can be broadcast on the platform 15 months after its cinema release, compared to 17 for competitors Disney Plus or Amazon Prime.

A new media chronology has just been signed, on Monday 24 January. It should be put in place on February 10 for a period of three years. Before that, a review clause was set in February 2022, in order to make an initial assessment. Because this subject gave rise to long negotiations, and the decisions taken today are already criticized by film and television professionals.

After several months of discussions under the mediation of the CNC, the Ministry of Culture, streaming platforms and television channels have validated this new schedule for broadcasting films in streaming and on television:
– a 6-month waiting period between the theatrical release and a first encrypted broadcast on Canal +
– a delay of 15 months for Netflix
– a period of 17 months for Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus
– A period of 22 months for free-to-air channels (TF1, M6 etc.)

The victory of Canal +

We have known since December 2021 that the encrypted channel had succeeded in reducing its broadcast time from 9 to 6 months by committing in return to invest 600 million euros in European cinema until 2024 (details to be found at read under the tweet). The new media timeline confirms this new release deadline. The leaders of Canal + are delighted, recalling that negotiations had already made it possible in 2018 to reduce this window from 12 to 9 months. In a little less than four years, they have therefore halved this period! “This modernized media timeline recognizes Canal+’s unique position in the film funding cycle”, welcomes the group, while mentioning the 400 films/year currently broadcast exclusively on the channel.

New agreement between Canal Plus and French cinema: the broadcast window goes from 9 to 6 months

Different broadcast windows depending on the platforms

The surprise of this new agreement concerns the reduction of the broadcast time on streaming platforms. So far from about 36 months, it increases to 15 for Netflix and 17 for the others (Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, Apple TV+, etc.). This is explained by the fact that the French branch of Netflix is ​​the only one to have signed the agreement with the local financing system for audiovisual and cinematographic productions. If the request was to donate between 20% and 25% of their annual turnover in France for local production against a distribution window reduced to 12 months, the platform finally committed after strong negotiations to produce at least ten films per year in France, plus an average investment of 40 million euros in creation (series included). This represents only 4% of Netflix’s turnover in 2021 with us, but marks “a first significant step in the modernization of the media chronology, according to the spokesperson for the platform. It reflects our constructive approach throughout the negotiation process and our commitment to contributing to French cinema.”

If Netflix is ​​happy, the competitors logically regret that their broadcast time is two months longer. “We believe that this does not establish a fair and proportionate framework between the various players in the audiovisual ecosystem, reacted for example the team in charge of the negotiations at Disney. This is all the more frustrating as we have increased our investments in the creation of original French content.” The group, like Amazon and other streaming platforms, will still have to abide by these new rules, regardless of whether they have signed them or not. A decision that made the SACD (Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers) jump, which publishes an open letter to justify its refusal to sign this new media chronology. Extract : “No one can imagine that the terms of this agreement can now remain in force for a period of three years. The rapid changes in the sector in terms of supply, technology and demand will inevitably lead to a rapid evolution of the place cinema in all the offers available on the French market. The conclusion of this agreement for a period of 3 years therefore appears both incomprehensible and unreasonable. (…) The fear is all the stronger because this agreement contains specific innovations for the platforms, particularly in the context of co-exploitation between SVOD services and free channels which further increase the negative effects of the French media chronology on the continued availability of cinema works for the French public. Indeed, even if a film is not purchased by any pay TV offer, it will most of the time remain completely unavailable for 15 to 17 months after its theatrical release. , much to the chagrin of French moviegoers. This very long unavailability will unfortunately only have two escape routes, each as dangerous as the other. First of all, some of these films risk quite simply not being released in theaters with immediate financial effects on attendance and therefore the resources of the CNC support account fed by the tax on box office receipts. Secondly, this long period of unavailability will be a powerful incentive for the piracy of the films concerned.

Disney may no longer release its films in cinemas in France because of the media chronology

An exclusive window of 22 to 36 months for TV channels

Streaming platforms therefore gain additional time compared to free-to-air television channels: TF1, France Télévisions, M6 and Arte will now be able to broadcast a film 22 months after its cinema release, compared to 36 previously, therefore. On the other hand, they will retain an exclusivity window, from 22 to 36 months, which means that the films in question will have to be withdrawn from the various platforms while they are broadcast on television. It is up to the different groups to arrange among themselves to sign “co-exclusivity periods” so that certain works can be available both on TV and in streaming. “We will be very vigilant about the balance of power between these major platforms and French players”, reacted Thomas Valentin, vice-president of the M6 ​​group.

Films every day of the week on TV and in the advertising pages

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