French pay TV giant Canal Plus has launched four new sports channels in Africa. The move underlines the extent to which parent company Vivendi’s chairman Vincent Bollore sees Africa as one of the areas of potential future growth for the company, along with southern Europe. Canal Plus Sport will broadcast the premier football tournament UEFA Champions League as well as other premium events. The platform is already up and running.
In October last year, Canal Plus launched A+, a 100% African channel, with a mixture of general entertainment content. Africa has long been strategically important for Bollore and his holding company Bollore Group, which has diverse business interests across the continent including transportation and logistics.
Vivendi last month also increased its stake in Telecom Italia to 15%. That move, which also runs parallel to an agreement with Spanish telco Telefonica to gain access to its distribution pipelines, will increase Vivendi’s footprint through its Canal Plus and Universal Music Group assets across southern Europe as the company prepares to launch an expansive content-acquisition and generation strategy in September.