Canal Plus is expected to cut 500 jobs in France, or about 18% of its workforce, according to local reports. The reductions would be through voluntary departures, French website Les Jours reported, and come at a time when the pay-TV giant has faced pressure from a declining subscriber base at home and deep-pocketed competitors for sports rights. It now has fewer domestic subscribers than Netflix.
Conversely, Vivendi-owned Canal in May signaled that it has an eye towards international with news that it was acquiring M7, an independent pay-TV company with operations in Benelux and Central Europe, for a purchase price of slightly over 1B euros ($1.12B). This is the largest overseas deal that Canal has done in about two decades and lifts its full subscriber base to about 20M worldwide.
The group has cut costs over the past few years, resulting in increased profitability in 2018. It shuttered its SVOD service CanalPlay last year and in March this year launched a series-only streaming service in France as it looks to claw back some of the online market being devoured by Netflix and others.
Sports rights have also been a serious issue as the company notably lost out on the French Premiere League to Spain’s Mediapro.
It is understood that a meeting is set for next week to discuss the voluntary departures. Deadline has reached out to Canal for comment.