CANAL+ Group is strengthening its offerings in the African continent by adding four dedicated sports channels, and beefing up its “African content,” as the press release states, on the film and TV networks, CANAL+, CANAL+ Cinema, CANAL+ Series and CANAL+ Family channels, which are distributed across the continent.
The operator is planning to add 600 new films each year, as well as five new series each month, and will add Reussite – a program dedicated to economic development within the continent – to its slate.
The four dedicated sports channels it will add are: CANAL+ Sport 1, Sport 2, Sport 3 and Sport 4. All will feature content as the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League football, as well as Ligue 1 French football, the English Premier League, the Euro 2016 championship and the Copa America.
Additional programming highlights include NBA and Eurobasket basketball, IAAF Diamond League athletics, Top 14 French rugby, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, along with ATP Masters 1000 and 500 tennis, European Tour and Masters golf and Formula 1.
The news comes a year after Canal+, the pay-television arm of Vivendi SA, announced plans to launch a Pan-African channel in a bid to tap into the continent’s fast growing television market. The new channel, called A+, broadcasts European- and U.S.-produced programs, as well as locally-produced shows and TV series specifically aimed at audiences in countries on the continent where the channel is available. With headquarters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, the channel is being sold as part of an entry-level television package. Canal+ said it wants to double its 1.3 million subscribers in across Africa, who account for about 10% of the pay-television group’s total customers – over the next two years.
“To push this further, we need content that is made by Africans for Africans,” said Jacques du Puy, president of Canal Plus Overseas, the pay-television group’s international unit.
Canal+ Africa aims to be a leading satellite pay-television operator in primarily French-speaking Africa.