French DTH firm Canal+ has acquired US-based content distributor Alterna’TV as it looks to scale up across North and Latin America. Eutelsat is the seller, with the deal including long-term leases for capacity on Eutelsat 113 West A and Eutelsat 117 West A.
French DTH firm Canal+ has acquired US-based content distributor Alterna’TV as it looks to scale up across North and Latin America.
It bought the group for an undisclosed sum from satellite fleet operator Eutelsat (EPA: ETL), which picked up the asset after acquiring Satmex – now Eutelsat Americas – in a US$1.14bn deal closed in January 2014.
Alterna’TV mainly provides Spanish-speaking channels and reaches more than 10 million subscribers across the Americas. The deal also includes long-term leases for capacity on Eutelsat 113 West A and Eutelsat 117 West A.
The acquisition comes a year and a half after Canal+ acquired a majority stake in channel distributor Thema to galvanise international expansion efforts. Thema boasts a portfolio of more than 100 channels and has a strong presence across EMEA and Asia, but was limited in North America before the Alterna’TV deal.
Thema CEO François Thiellet said: “The acquisition of Alterna’TV marks a new step in our partnership with Eutelsat with whom we have been working since our creation.
“It will allow us to scale up our presence in North and Latin America and will reinforce our team and the portfolio of channels we offer pay-TV operators in these markets.
“It will complement the platform we already operate in Canada with Terra Terra (that notably distributes Planète+ in Canada and became part of Thema in January 2016) to create Thema America which aims to become a privileged partner of operators, replicating our success with our European model that draws on an innovative editorial and commercial approach.”
Jacques du Puy, CEO of the satellite broadcaster’s international arm Canal+ Overseas, told SatelliteFinance that it continues to be open to inorganic growth options to expand across the continent, although it is first focused on integrating Alterna’TV and realising the potential for synergies.
Canal+ Overseas is already the largest French-speaking pay-TV operator in French Overseas Territories, and du Puy said Alterna’TV will benefit from accessing Canal+’s larger portfolio of channels.
He said expanding internationally plays an important part in its parent group Vivendi’s (EPA:VIV) new strategy for the group.
Canal+ reorganised its management last year soon after Vivendi chairman Vincent Bolloré upped his stake in the French conglomerate to around 14.5%, tightening his grip on the group to help tackle the DTH firm’s falling subscriber numbers amid increasing competition from OTT services.
Rodolphe Belmer, the former CEO of Canal+, replaced Michel de Rosen at the helm of Eutelsat last month.