Vivendi-owned pay TV group Canal+ has signed a landmark deal that will see the company commit to invest €600 million in film production in France over the next three years in exchange for a loosening up of the current strict theatrical windowing regime. The agreement, which took six months to come to fulfilment, was signed by the CEO of Canal+, Maxime Saada, and France’s main film unions, the ARP, BLIC and BLOC, representing everyone from authors to directors, producers, distributors and exhibitors.
The pact also includes a diversity clause to prevent Canal+ from concentrating its investment on bigger movies. The pay TV group will therefore have to dedicate a portion of the €600 million on films with budgets under €4.3 million. At the same time, the agreement means that Canal+ will remain the chief source of finance of French film, and its commitment will be reportedly independent of the commercial performance of its channels and the number of subscribers they attract.
On the other hand, Canal+ will benefit from an advanced window to begin six months after movies are released theatrically, down from eight months currently, with an exclusive window of at least nine months to distribute them and a second window of up to 16 months. The signatories of the deal called for their members to adopt the new proposed windowing and asked for changes in regulations to enable the deal to be implemented. The proposed new windowing regime will kick in at the beginning of next year.