October 8, 1997 |
Pity Spain's 12 million TV households. Most only get to zap a handful of broadcast channels. Cable TV penetration stands at a paltry 3.6%, while only 8.2% of Spanish TV homes are hooked up to a satellite TV service. It's been seven years since Spain ended a 30-year monopoly of bland, state-backed broadcasting with two private TV channels. Those who could afford the monthly $23 subscription fee added a third, terrestrial pay-TV channel, Canal Plus Spain.
December 2, 2000 |
Vivendi may face new difficulty in its acquisitions of Seagram Co. and Canal Plus after a representative from the French movie industry said he will ask a court to force more concessions from the company. The acquisition, which would create the world's second-largest media company, has been approved by France's audiovisual regulator, CSA. Film representatives are worried the French television broadcaster won't be able to meet its obligation to subsidize French movies.
January 3, 2001 |
Canal Plus, the pay-TV unit of French media group Vivendi Universal, on Tuesday confirmed plans to divest its stake in sports channels Eurosport and Eurosport France and to launch a rival sports channel. The French pay-TV unit holds a 49.5% stake in Eurosport, while its French rival, channel Television Francaise 1, owns the rest and is considered to be the likely buyer. Eurosport is the biggest European cable sports channel, claiming 30 million subscribers.
September 7, 1996 |
Canal Plus, the French pay TV company, has agreed to acquire its Dutch-based rival NetHold for stock valued at about $1.6 billion in a move that would create one of the largest television groups in the world. NetHold, which has pioneered the development of digital TV in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, was on the verge of signing an agreement with DirecTV, the U.S. pay TV company owned by General Motors Corp. through its Hughes Electronics unit, when Canal Plus made its unexpected proposal.
February 7, 2003 |
Vivendi Universal on Thursday replaced the head of its Canal Plus Group and abandoned plans for a public stock offering of the troubled pay-TV company, putting added pressure on chief Jean-Rene Fourtou to raise cash by selling other assets, including some of its U.S. entertainment holdings. As expected, Vivendi named Bertrand Meheut, the No.
February 27, 1999 |
Canal Plus, Europe's No. 1 pay-TV company, said it's in talks with British Sky Broadcasting Group, the second-biggest, on a possible linkup. The announcement follows comments by BSkyB Chairman Jerome Seydoux, who told reporters Friday that the companies are "talking about everything, but the talks principally cover a merger--a merger between BSkyB and Canal Plus." Canal Plus and Vivendi, its parent company, later said the discussions are at a "very preliminary stage."
July 23, 2002 |
In a significant first step toward redefining itself, Vivendi Universal plans to sell off unprofitable portions of Canal Plus Group and float a minority stake in the remaining French pay-TV company. The move, part of a companywide effort to slash the French utility and media company's massive debt, would allow Vivendi to raise as much as $5 billion while keeping control of the powerful media property.
June 19, 2000 |
French conglomerate company Vivendi and its Canal Plus TV unit edged closer to an acquisition of famed Canadian liquor and entertainment company Seagram Co. for about $33 billion in stock. The companies said in a joint statement they hoped to formally announce a deal as soon as Tuesday. A union of the three companies would join Seagram's entertainment assets, which include Universal Pictures, with the growing telecommunications and Internet infrastructure being developed by Vivendi.
June 20, 1996 |
The turmoil over Europe's fast-emerging, multibillion-dollar digital pay TV market is intensifying. In recent weeks, media companies have announced programming packages that will bring digital pay TV to Germany, Scandinavia and the Benelux countries--Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg--for the first time this summer. At the same time, an alliance of media giants aimed at the Continent's large and lucrative German market has all but collapsed due to internal differences.
February 12, 1993 |
Canal Plus, the European pay television heavyweight that has been pouring money into Hollywood to become a major entertainment player, is about to turn down the spigot. Canal Plus this week struck a deal to gradually withdraw from its equity partnership with Warner Bros.-based producer Arnon Milchan, which has resulted in both big hits ("Under Siege") and misses ("Memoirs of an Invisible Man").