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Canal Plus to cut jobs in France amid tough pay-TV environment

France’s Canal Plus Group confirmed on Tuesday plans to cut around 20 per cent of its workforce in its home country as it adjusts to growing competition in the pay-television market.

Canal Plus said the transformation project could lead to the departure of a maximum of 492 people in France, exclusively on a voluntary basis.

Canal Plus employs 2,800 people in France, and 7,000 worldwide. It said that while it has undertaken a host of reform efforts since 2015, more transformation is needed.

It added: “Unfortunately, these achievements are still insufficient as the transformation of our sector is like a revolution with global platforms, natively digital and international, which have a considerable financial strength and escape the fiscal and regulatory constraints as felt by Canal Plus Group.

“This is why the company’s transformation towards digitalisation and increased agility in the organisation are unavoidable. They alone will ensure the growth and sustainability of the Canal Plus Group while allowing it to pursue its ambition to export worldwide French and European culture.”

Canal Plus said it will undertake consultations on the plans, commencing on July 15-16.

The decison comes amid an increasingly less favourable business environment for the company. In May 2018, it was dislodged as the home of Ligue 1 coverage in France after the rights-holder Ligue de Football Professionnel opted to strike a domestic rights deal with Spanish agency Mediapro and pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports for the four seasons from 2020-21 to 2023-24.

Last week, Canal Plus decided to launch a legal claim for damages against the LFP following a series of match postponements last season due to protests by the ‘yellow vests’ movement.