Apple, Canal+ Sign Landmark, Multi-Year Deal to Bring Apple TV+ to All Subscribers in France
Apple and Canal+ have signed a landmark deal that will bring Apple TV+ to all Canal+ subscribers in France, along with some other European territories.
The deal is different from the aggregation agreements that Canal+ has in place with other streamers such as Disney+ and Netflix, whose offers are being accessible as part of the French pay TV operator’s bundle.
Under the pact, Apple TV+ will be available at no extra cost to Canal+ subs from April 20. Canal+ customers can seamlessly and easily access the films and series of Apple TV+ directly on their existing set-top box — with no separate app or subscription necessary.
This is a multi-territory agreement for France, French speaking-Switzerland, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Speaking to Variety, Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior VP of services, and Maxime Saada, Canal+ chairman and CEO of Canal+ Group, said they’ve known each other for years and celebrated the idea of tying the knot. The pair first worked together 15 years ago when “Apple got into the iTunes business” and stayed in touch.
“I was trying to find the best content people in the world and that’s how I got introduced to Canal Plus. I never thought we’d be in this business ourselves, but I had a tremendous appreciation and learned a lot during those years of how great Canal+, Maxime Saada and his team are,” said Cue.
Cue emphasized the longevity of the multi-year alliance. “This is a true partnership. It’s not a promotion and it’s not a one-time thing. It’s a many-years thing and hopefully something that lasts for forever in my mind” said Cue.
Saada, meanwhile, said Apple was the “only brand” with whom Canal+ could consider a global deal. “Because throughout its history, Apple has revolutionized every product and service category it has chosen to enter. It has always become the number one.”
He continued: “When Apple decided to develop television devices and launch Apple TV, it was the best-in-class experience (…) and with Apple TV+, they’ve applied these high standards and excellence to content and in just a few years it has become one of the world’s leading players in the industry.”
Saada also revealed that a number of Apple Original series will air on the Canal+ flagship channel, starting with “The Morning Show.”
Cue said Apple wasn’t exploring similar deals elsewhere at this point. “There’s no discussions or ideas or anything like that. This is a pretty unique situation,” said the executive. Cue also admitted being a fan of French culture. “I’ve always had a great appreciation for the entertainment culture and industry of France and I think the people of France have a great appreciation for the content itself.”
Neither Cue nor Saada were willing to reveal the financial terms of the pact. But Cue said, “Rest assured that more people watching is a good thing for both of us.” He says the level of French subscriptions has been “good and it’s about to get really great.”
Apple TV+ launched on Nov. 1, 2019. Its roster of original films, documentaries and series includes “Ted Lasso,” which just kicked off its third season, and Oscar-winning film “Coda,” which the streamer acquired out of Sundance in 2021.
Apple TV+ recently launched its first French original with “Liaison,” a French-British thriller starring Vincent Cassel and Eva Green and written by Virginie Brac (“Spiral”). The first episode debuted globally on Feb. 24. The banner’s second French project, “Drops of God,” world premiered at Series Mania in Lille last month. The French-Japanese show is inspired by the bestselling manga from award-winning Tadashi Agi and Shu Okimoto.
Variety's Elsa Keslassy contributed to this post.