French streaming service Saute launched two years ago TF1M6 France Télévisions has not attracted enough interest from potential bidders and is moving towards a solution, diversity confirmed it.
Last November, two of its shareholders, TF1 and M6, France’s two largest commercial channels, announced their intention to sell their stake in The Voice. Soon after, the head of France Television, Delphine Ernott, in an interview with Le Figaro newspaper, said so. Jump needed new contributors, suggesting it also wanted to leave the editor.
The streaming device has been on the market since November. So far, only one serious Agile Content bid has been submitted in Spain, but talks have stalled, according to French blog L’Informé that first reported the news.
Under French law, the shareholders – TF1, M6 and France Télévisions – cannot leave Salto until they sell their shares, or else they must vote to dissolve the company, which is expected to happen on Friday.
Ernott is likely to propose dissolving Salto at Friday’s board meeting. If the measure is approved by all parties, the companies will have to sell Salto’s assets and settle outstanding debts before they are officially closed. Salto was worth €45m in March 2022 and is currently running a shortfall of €85.6m on annual revenues of €17m, according to the French report.
Directed by Thomas Folen, the service offers follow-up content from 19 different channels affiliated with TF1, France Télévisions and M6, as well as previews of upcoming shows and new content available for streaming. Some of his high profile French exclusives have included the HBO Max shows “And Just Like That” and “Friends: The Reunion”.
Launched with the goal of giving subscribers a homegrown alternative to Netflix, Salto reached between 800,000 and 900,000 subscribers at the end of last year, according to NPA Conseil. The service saw its subscriber base double between spring 2021 and fall 2022, but growth has slowed due to a lack of presence on set-top boxes. In fact, Salto is only available as an OTT service and has distribution agreements only with French telecom group Bouygues and more recently with Amazon Prime Video (since last October). By comparison, Netflix, which has more than 12 million subscribers, has agreements with all the major telecom groups, including market leaders Canal+, Orange, Free and SFR.
TF1 and M6’s decision to leave Salto appears to have been motivated by several factors, particularly obligations imposed by the Competition Board which they considered too onerous. On the other hand, France Télévision is trying to tighten its grip.
Representatives for TF1, M6 and France Television did not trust our requests for comment.
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