TWO MONTHS ahead of Netflix’s launch in France, culture minister Aurelie Filippetti has said she wants to cut the delay between a movie’s cinema release and its Video on Demand (VoD) premiere - but only for broadcasters that contribute to the French film industry.
The decision is a blow to the online TV giant.
Under current French law, VoD companies are prevented from streaming films until three years after their cinema release, and also have to hand over 15% of revenues to the European film industry and 12% to French filmmakers.
By setting up the base of its French operation in Luxembourg, Netflix avoided this levy.
But Ms Filippetti’s proposal - which effectively creates “a strategy of cultural and digital sovereignty of France” - looks set to favour Netflix’s competition in France, which is set to grow in the near future.
The existing Canal Play service, for example, will be joined shortly by French supermarket chain Leclerc, while Orange too is reportedly set to launch its own service.
In an interview with Le Figaro, Ms Filippetti said that she was prepared to cut the current lag between theatrical release and TV release from three years to two - but only to "services involved in the funding and the exposure of French and European works”.
She said: “Since 2009, the practices and the competitive environment has evolved considerably. It is time to reflect and give new impetus to our cultural industries, while promoting legal online offerings.”
The news comes as Netflix revealed it was preparing for massive interest when it launches in France in September.