The chairman of the management board of Canal+, Maxime Saada, broke, in a letter dated Friday, 19 October, negotiations with the twenty-three organizations of the French cinema to renew the agreement until the end of 2019. By a domino effect, the boss of Canal+, has also been stumbling blocks to the reform of the chronology of the media (the exploitation of a film on different media, such as television channels, video on demand or Netflix, after their cinema release). The encrypted string had refused, on the 6th of September, to sign the final protocol before they have signed an agreement with the cinema.
Defending a range of interests and even conflict with each other, the representatives of the 7th art (operators, producers, distributors, filmmakers…) have not found common ground with the main banker of the French cinema, who has pre-purchased for € 114 million film in 2017. Most organizations seem to be disappointed, surprises, and refuse to react officially to not to undermine a resumption of negotiations.
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At Canal+, the exasperation is, however, very palpable. Maxime Saada has argued, in its letter sent to the liaison Office of the cinema industry (BLIC), Bureau of liaison of the organizations du cinéma (BLOC) and the Société civile des auteurs réalisateurs producteurs (ARP), that the new negotiations will be “bilaterally” and that the concessions agreed upon during the past year ” shall not constitute the basis of [their] future exchanges “.
“The cinema is bunkérise, rabougrit ”
What have they stumbled ? Technical issues, such as the base of calculations of the obligations of Canal+. Today, the chain spends 12.5% of its turnover to rights acquisition of european films, is investing 3,61 € per subscriber per month in the feature film of French expression. To the extent that the subscription offers of Canal+ vary from 10 euros to about 40 euros per month, the discussions focused on the value of the different subscribers. Another question is under debate, the introduction of a ceiling of investment of 180 million euros per year in the French cinema, and european. Canal+ asked to engage in the associate production of four feature films per year through Studio Canal, while the film organisations in the accepted three. Canal+ has accused Gaumont, Pathé or UGC to protect their pre-square and refuse any and all competition.
Everyone is yet persuaded to have proposed to the other ” extremely favorable conditions “. Pascal Rogard, director general of the Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques (SACD) think that the difficulty comes from the fact that” there was no chief negotiator for the film ” and that the claims have not been sufficiently prioritised. “Fight on a film production executive has no sense, just as it is logical that Canal+ does not count in the same way a subscriber who pays 40 euros per month, and who has chosen [a subscription to] 10 euros “, he adds. In his eyes, ” the film is bunkérise, rabougrit. It is all the more serious in that, in the dinner in town, we are talking about today much more of series than movies. Gold Netflix is approaching 4 million subscribers in France “. He laments that “this unique opportunity to improve the chronology of the media” has not been input. “It’s bad for the French cinema,” he concludes.
Suspicion-of-sale, forward, Canal+ by Vivendi
A stakeholder does not understand why Canal+ has refused to sign, so that 90 % of the agreement were acquired.” Another wondered “whether it is a tactical move, Canal+’ s “and s” there is a real will of its shareholder, the Vivendi group, to give a central place at the theater in Canal+ “. If this is not the case, ” it must needs be that we know “, he adds.
A third trader suspects that Vivendi want to sell, in the long term, Canal+. Weakened by the loss of the rights of the football, the string, if it is not tied up by obligations that are binding in the cinema, would find more easily a buyer. A hypothesis rejected at Canal+, which refers to be committed to a application on TNT and, most importantly, have proposed to re-sign the same agreements in force with the film until 2023…
The reform of media chronology is therefore not for tomorrow. Canal+ prefer to forgo the benefits that afféraient – the ability to stream movies between six and eight months after their cinema release, compared to ten to twelve months today, since the agreement with the cinema is blocked. If the actors are “not in capacity to take up their responsibilities, the law may decide” the evolution of the regulatory framework of the chronology of the media, has already warned the new minister of culture, Franck Riester.