Orange struck a memorandum of understanding with French entertainment business Canal Plus Group for the sale of pay-TV arm OCS and content division Orange Studio for an undisclosed sum.

In a press release, the pair stated Vivendi-owned Canal Plus Group would become the sole shareholder of OCS, of which it already owns a 33.34 per cent stake.

The deal includes movie production unit Orange Studio and will now be presented to the French Competition Authority for approval.

As well as owning a third of OCS, Canal Plus Group is a long-standing partner of Orange in creating and distributing content.

Sale talks
It first came to light Orange was exploring a sale of its OCS business in November 2022, with Reuters reporting the operator had entered into exclusive talks with  Vivendi for the sale.

Canal Plus, already the country’s largest pay-TV platform with 9.6 million subscribers, has swooped to beef up its business and take the fight to streaming giant Netflix.

Orange’s pay-TV platform is Canal Plus’ closest competitor, with around 3 million customers.

For Orange, the deal represents an exit from the film industry and distribution of TV shows after first venturing into the segment in 2008. It was notably the sole distributor in France of popular TV series Game of Thrones, but lost the rights at the end of 2022.