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France seeks SVOD movie window reduction

French culture minister Aurélie Filippetti has said she wants to reduce the delay before films can be distributed on subscription video-on-demand services.

Filippetti wants the window cut to 24 months after cinema release, in place of the current 36 months – but only for services that sign up to the country’s system of financing French and European content.

Filippetti provided details of the proposal, widely seen as a move to blunt the impact of Netflix’s impending launch in the country, in an interview with Le Figaro.

She said that her objective is to make content available more quickly and legally to the public.

Filippetti’s prosposal would go some way to meeting the recommendation of former Canal+ chief Pierre Lescure’s report on how to maintain France’s ‘cultural exception’ in the internet age, which proposed a reduction in the opening of the window for SVoD content from 36 to 18 months.

By linking the reduction to support for France’s content creation regime, it would also help assuage the concerns of domestic players such as Canal+ that global internet players including Netflix, whose European operation will be based in Amsterdam, are not subject to the financial burdens imposed on local providers.

Filippetti said that she would also like to see a revision of the windows during which content can be distributed exclusively on TV channels in favour of a longer VoD window.