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Entertainment Media/Telecom

France’s Answer to Netflix to Launch in Early 2020

France’s top broadcasters will start a streaming video service in the first quarter of 2020, joining the U.K. in launching a rival to Amazon and Netflix, whose success has undermined traditional broadcast and pay-TV companies in those countries.

It took more than a year for public broadcaster France Televisions and private rivals M6 and TF1 to win regulatory approval for the service, which will be called Salto. Describing the combination as “Team France,” France Televisions CEO Delphine Ernotte Cunci said the service would “give us what we need to compete against international players on our own territory,” according to Variety.

The move echoes steps taken in the U.K., where national broadcaster BBC and privately owned ITV joined forces to launch streaming service BritBox.

The success of these nationally based services is far from assured. Amazon and Netflix will soon be joined by WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and Disney’s Disney+ streaming services, which will one day have international offerings sure to make competitive landscape even tougher than it already is. It’s also notable that Canal+, France’s biggest pay-TV service with some of the nation’s most desirable programming, isn’t joining Salto, according to this report from Bloomberg

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