Salto, the French streaming service co-owned by TF1, M6 and France Télévisions, could either change hands or shut down in the near future, Variety has confirmed.
The service, which launched in 2020 after multiple delays, was created by the three French TV groups in an effort to give subscribers a local alternative to Netflix (which now has over 13 million subscribers in France) and other global services.
Priced at €6.99 ($7.23) per month, Salto had only 523,000 subscribers as of June 2021 and ranked behind other local streamers, including Canal+, OCS, beIN and RMC by the end of last year, according to a study conducted by NPA Conseils/Harris interactive. With an annual revenue of €17.1 million in 2021, the company was valued at €45 million as of March.
The service features catch-up content from 19 different channels belonging to TF1, France Télévisions and M6, as well as premieres of upcoming shows, and fresh content available for streaming.
Tensions began mounting between France Télévisions and the two commercial channels, TF1 and M6, after they unveiled their proposed merger plans in May 2021. France Télévisions president Delphine Ernotte said the French public broadcaster wanted to exit Salto, and TF1 and M6 said they would buy France Télévisions’ stake if their merger was greenlit by the anti-trust board.
Merger plans were eventually abandoned by TF1 and M6 after France’s anti-trust body raised multiple concerns. It’s unknown where Ernotte stands on the topic in the backdrop of this new development. However, it’s now TF1 Group’s new managing director Rodolphe Belmer’s (pictured) turn to question the banner’s involvement in Salto.
Belmer, who previously ran Canal Plus Group, said upon taking over TF1 Group as managing director, that he considered pulling out. Belmer will become president of TF1 Group in February, succeeding Gilles Pelisson. The company also has its own streaming platform, MyTF1.
A meeting between Salto’s three shareholders will take place before the end of the month to decide how to proceed with the streamer, according to local news outlet La Lettre A. Options include shutting down the service or selling it off.
The news about Salto was first reported by Le Figaro.