Canal Plus ramps up original programming

French pay TV operator Canal Plus is planning to ramp up its investment in original fiction programming in a drive to attract new subscribers, with over €40 million (US$62.6 million) to be spent this year, according to local press reports.

The pay TV operator is investing in new series including Maison Close, which recounts the life of three prostitutes in a brothel in 1870s Paris and is the first major costume drama series produced by Canal Plus, XIII, an international coproduction of 13×52-minute episodes costing €25 million, and Borgia, a 12-episode drama series costing €30 million.

The pay TV operator, which is providing up to 30% of the finance for these shows, plans to make 50 hours of original shows available in primetime in 2010-11, 10 hours more than the previous year.