January 25, 2022

Netflix, Prime Video, myCanal … You should no longer wait 3 years to see films after their theatrical release

According to Les Echos, the rules of the media chronology will be changed following an agreement between Canal + and the French cinema industry. SVoD services like Netflix or Prime Video would no longer have to wait three years to broadcast a movie.

The Netflix catalog

The Netflix catalog

In France, a rule supposed to protect the film industry is tough, it is the chronology of the media. This law requires TV channels and streaming platforms to broadcast a film for a fairly long period after its theatrical release. Thus, SVoD services such as Netflix, Disney + or Prime Video must currently wait three years before adding a feature film to their catalog.

An agreement between Canal + and French cinema

This binding rule should know some changes according to information from the log The echoes. The Canal + channel and the French cinema ended up, despite some bickering, by reaching an agreement in this direction. The media writes that an official announcement is expected for this Thursday, December 2, 2021, but is already revealing the important information to remember.

The essence of the agreement revolves around the rights of Canal +. The private channel is indeed preserving its title as the main patron of French cinema for at least the next three years. In return, the subsidiary of the Vivendi group will be able to broadcast a film six months after its theatrical release, compared to eight months today, and it will retain its exclusivity for nine months.

New media timeline for SVoD services in 2022

This shortened period also applies a priori to the myCanal SVoD service, which can offer replay films if these have already been broadcast by one of the Canal + group’s TV channels. This new media timeline should apply from early 2022.

For their part, services like Netflix and others will have to wait 15 months instead of 36. Users will therefore have to wait less, but be aware that this is not as good as what we could have expected. Indeed, to put pressure on Canal +, the French cinema industry was considering turning to these famous SVoD platforms to obtain greater funding and reduce the waiting period to only 12 months.

So remember the following deadlines:

  • Canal +: broadcast possible 6 months after theatrical release and exclusivity for 9 months;
  • myCanal: replay possible once the film has already been broadcast on a Canal + channel;
  • Netflix, Disney +, Prime Video and myCanal (excluding replay): broadcast possible 12 months after theatrical release.

Hundreds of millions of euros at stake

To go into detail, you should know that Canal + and its Ciné + channel will pay around 190 million euros to French cinema each year for three years with tacit renewal. This sum may vary depending on the number of subscribers that the TV group records and should be supplemented by the money that the free Canal + channels will also pay. The newspaper The echoes estimates that these transactions will total more than 200 million euros each year.

Beyond that, also note that Netflix, Disney + and Amazon Prime Video will also begin to participate financially in the creation of French films by paying between 50 and 80 million euros per year. Finally, remember that the media chronology does not apply only to French feature films. For Hollywood productions, it is also necessary to respect the deadlines imposed by this mechanism before obtaining the broadcasting right.

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