Orange is set to launch a new unit to “strengthen the group’s presence in the field of content”, a move which will also see it invest €100 million in TV series over five years.
In a statement announcing the move, the operator said: “This investment underlines Orange’s desire to produce ambitious series, to be co-produced with recognised partners, whether French, European or international.”
Orange detailed its content push at a time when operators around the world are trying to compete against over the top (OTT) entertainment service providers including Netflix and Amazon. France-based Altice is also working to combine mobile with cable.
The France-headquartered operator’s new division will report directly to CEO Stephane Richard and will commence operations on 1 September.
It will bring together large portions of Orange’s current content divisions, including Orange Studio, OCS (previously known as Orange Cinema Series) and Orange Prestations TV, and will be responsible for delivering international guidelines relating to content policy, and backing content deal negotiations.
The new unit will also be tasked with interpreting trends and identifying opportunities for the Group, and acquiring rights through distribution agreements.
Richard said: “Orange Content aims to guarantee the richness of our offer in France and abroad and give more visibility and consistency to our offers in the field of content.”
Orange and Canal Plus said they would “reinforce” the distribution of Canal offers for Orange TV customers and will propose a new offer for Orange’s fibre customers.
In addition, Orange Studio will open a new sales department, and UGC Images will entrust it with the international marketing of all its films in 2018.
Among other deals, the group renewed its partnership with the Cannes Film Festival for a three-year term, and also with the Lumière Film Festival with which it has been a partner since 2009.