It has been in the pipeline for almost two years, but the long negotiation that should lead to the sale of the OCS subsidiary by Orange is about to find an epilogue. This is what the employees of the channel and Orange Studios have just learned. Unsurprisingly, the buyer would be the Canal+ group.
OCS, Orange Studio… and some debts?
This entry into the phase of exclusive negotiations between OCS and Canal+ was expected: the encrypted channel already owns 34% of the Orange television subsidiary and had a right of first refusal on the acquisition.
Thanks to this operation, Canal+ would recover a major player in French streaming to counter Disney+ and Netflix. This would allow it to consolidate its streaming offer by recovering the three million subscribers of OCS, as well as a catalog of quality films and series, but also to acquire Orange Studio, a co-production company and distribution (The Artist with Jean Dujardin, A hidden life by Terrence Malick or the Oscar winner The Father by Florian Zeller).
With these advantages also come constraints. Billed alone at €11.99/month, the OCS channel has suffered between 400 and 500 million euros in losses since its launch in 2008. During previous negotiations, Orange also asked for debt absorption of up to 150 million euros.
In addition to Canal+, other groups had expressed their interest. Among them, the French Mediawan, but also the American Warner, owner of the HBO channel, of which OCS was the main French broadcaster. If the takeover was recorded, Canal+ would recover an OCS bouquet without the famous series of the American giant (Game Of Thrones, Westworld, The Sopranos, Euphoria), broadcast in France on the HBO Max platform by 2024.