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Orange France reviews content strategy

Orange is to review its content strategy, but will stop short of investing in its own original content, according to CEO Stéphane Richard.

Speaking at an analyst presentation after the company released its full-year results this week, Richard said that the company’s executive committee has been charged with organising a seminar on future content options.

Richard said that the company’s priority was to “secure the sourcing of critical content” for its customers, including sports rights. However, he said, the company saw its role primarily as a distributor rather than an originator of content, with the exception of its existing French OCS pay TV channels.

He said Orange had “no intention to move into…content production” but nevertheless would invest more in content to secure what its customers wanted.

Earlier, Richard said that investing in broadcasting rights to football in Spain had been key to the company’s success in growing its IPTV base in that country threefold.

Answering analysts’ questions, after declining to set a time schedule for Orange’s proposed acquisition of Bouygues Telecom in France, Richard played down the prospects for further consolidation in Europe.

He said that Orange’s primary goal in the European market was “to be convergent everywhere it is meaningful”. Regarding further consolidation, he said that this would require changes in the regulatory environment at a European level, which would take time, adding that “pay-European deals are very complicated” and could be difficult to justify in the near term. “I don’t think that the time has come for a big pan-European consolidation,” he said.