Netflix has approached several French internet TV service providers with a view to striking carriage deals ahead of the subscription VOD service’s likely launch in France in September, according to local reports.
Orange is seen as the most likely candidate for any agreement and is at the most advanced stage in negotiations, according to a report in L’Express.
Unlike SFR and Bouygues Telecom, the operator is not linked to a shareholder with an interest in premium content – in their case, Canal+ and TF1 respectively.
Pay TV operator Canal+ and commercial broadcasters TF1 and M6 have been instrumental in pressing French culture minister Aurélie Filippetti to demand that Netflix sign up to France’s content creation support rules if it launches in the country.
A deal with Orange would not only give Netflix access to its over 10 million subscribers in France but potentially also to its base of users in Spain and Poland.
Netflix is also reported to have held talks with the other main French ISP, Free.