It is a dramatic reversal of history. Moribund in 2002, Canal , which celebrates today twenty-five years, is in better shape than all the other great players of the audiovisual. When TF1 and M6 live a disaster first half, the pay-TV Group publishes an operational profit (adjusted) rose from 34.5 to EUR 472 million. And real foot of nose, with good hearings of the emissions of its beach clearly - "Le Grand Journal" and "Les Guignols", advertising increases on the encrypted string. When the one and its rival shake costs, Rodolphe Belmer, the Director General of the flagship, announced at the Martinez hotel, MipCom, Cannes, that Canal will invest in one of the most ambitious projects of series, "The Borgia", international.
A quarter of a century after its birth, the channel exception remains. Paid model centered on the Subscriber is the group from the vagaries of the advertising situation. And the editorial strategy based on the exclusive in the foot and the film serves as a bulwark against the competition. End June 2009, the subsidiary of Vivendi posted 10.43 million subscribers against 10.34 million a year earlier. The encrypted string was certainly lost 57,000 subscribers on one year, 5.2 million. But at the same time, the CanalSat satellite bouquet won 94.000.
When asked to Bertrand Meheut, its CEO, if free channels of DTT and Internet threaten Canal , he makes a series of arguments to show that he remains calm. "The channel Canal grid costs EUR 1.2 billion and that of CanalSat 800 million euros." This allows us to invest in original creation and the exclusive content while the free chains reduce grid costs. "Délinéarisées offers competition, he did there not believe nor:"the profusion of choice kills choice." "The public wants is it offers a choice of programs based on a clear editorial line," he said.
Imagine new offers
For Canal , in a dominant position on the market of pay-TV since the absorption of the GST bouquet, one of the challenges today is to feed the growth of its portfolio of France subscribers.
And for good reason. New customers are more difficult, more expensive to recruit and often paid less for the group... Although the churn rate dropped to 11.2. In a much more competitive environment, Canal is facing three challenges. The first, secure rights to benefit from exclusive in the cinema and sport, the lifeblood of the pay TV. A field Orange investing small. "But behind the scenes, you feel good that this competition starts to interfere with channel," provides a producer. In recent years, the encrypted string has also made the original creation in fiction a priority editorial. In 2009, EUR 50 million he will go, none five years ago. But the series "braquo" or "xiii" became a brand of modern editorial. The challenge for the string will be to find talent, while the French audiovisual production is in crisis.
Second challenge: paste to new uses of consumption of households. Canal early placed its pawns in new technologies by creating a VOD site, CanalPlay, which is not yet profitable, or engaging in catch up TV. To develop these services, the group must secure, on all the channels, movies and sporting events rights. And at reasonable prices. This is the challenge of negotiating with the French cinema.
Finally, last challenge: imagine new offers to attract those that are still out of pay TV. Where the launch in September of channel weekend, offer to 15 euros, CanalSat Initial bouquet, offering 50 channels for the price low 9.99 euros, or an offer without engagement, much more flexible for the client. For now, group little disert rest on the success and profitability of these offers, and also on subscriptions from "The Cube", a 45 euros offer, which allows subscriber to see series preview. To find growth relays, the group is also looking foreign markets... as the mid-1980s. But the acquisition of Digital , Spain, that would really change the size, is making her escape.
Remains unknown: the Orange strategy in TV. For the moment, Canal , after having cried wolf, stand up to competition from the operator. The subsidiary of Vivendi scored a point, since the exclusivity for Orange subscribers to the "triple play" has been challenged by the competition authority. But no one knows yet the real ambitions of this heavyweight Telecom. If they confirm, Canal must find its own answers to not to lose its supremacy.