Canal+ Group

Canal Plus Group SA (Canal+) is a French film and television studio and distributor. It is owned and controlled by Vivendi and has a film library in excess of 5,000 films. Vivendi has sold some parts of Canal Plus to private investors which are still using the name of Canal Plus. It is headquartered in Issy-les-Moulineaux, in the suburbs of Paris.[3]

Canal Plus Group SA
Founded1983 (1983)
Key people
Jean-Christophe Thiery
Maxime Saada
ProductsPay TV
Television production
Film production & distribution
Revenue4.71 billion (2010)[1]
Number of employees
7,707[2] (31 December 2017) 
SubsidiariesStudioCanal, Canal, OCS (33%), Canal 8, Canal Star, Canal News, M7 Group

Canal Plus is "the French film industry's biggest financial backer, beloved by French cineastes".[4]

The fact that it is a major source of finance for domestic film production, participating in the financing of the vast majority of films produced in France is a major source of Canal Plus' strength. It has even created its own subsidiary companies with direct involvement in film production.[5]

StudioCanal, one of these subsidiaries, spends €200 million a year on movie production establishing as the first port of call outside the U.S. for intelligent upmarket movies like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy which is fully financed.[6]

Corporate divisions

  • Canal+ (100%)Premium Television; Metropolitan France, Caribbean, Africa, Southern Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Vietnam
    • Canal+ CinémaPremium Television devoted to movie
    • Canal+ SportPremium Television devoted to sports programmes
    • Canal+ FamilyPremium Television devoted to family programming
    • Canal+ SériesPremium Television devoted to series
    • Canal+ DécaléPremium Television, delayed broadcast of programmes from Canal+
    • Ciné+Set of six thematic cable television channels
    • Clique TVCable Television
    • Comédie+ (formerly Comédie!)Cable Television devoted to humorous programs
    • CStar Hits FranceCable Television devoted to musical programs
    • Foot+Cable Television devoted to soccer
    • Rugby+Cable Television devoted to rugby football
    • Golf+Cable Television devoted to golf
    • Infosport+Cable Television News channel devoted to sports
    • Piwi+ (formerly Piwi)Cable Television devoted to children programs
    • Planète+Cable Television devoted to documentaries
    • Planète+ A&ECable Television devoted to documentaries from A&E Networks channels
    • Planète+ Crime+InvestigationCable Television devoted to crimes documentaries
    • Polar+Cable Television devoted to movie
    • SeasonsCable Television devoted to documentaries
    • Télétoon+ (formerly Télétoon)Cable Television devoted to animation
    • Teletoon+ (formerly Minimax)Cable Television devoted to animation
    • MiniMini+ (formely MiniMini)Cable Television devoted to animated series for children from 3 to 6 years
    • CNews (formerly i>Télé)National News channel
    • C8National channel
    • CStarNational channel
    • MyCanalFree streaming service for Canal+ subscribers to stream the channel's programming live and on-demand
    • CanalPlayStreaming and on-demand service
    • Canal+ InternationalInternational French premium channel featuring programming from Canal+ and its various other channels
  • Canal+ RégieAdvertising network for the group channel's and the cinema operator UGC
  • CanalSat (100%)pay-TV provider
  • StudioCanal (100%)film producer and distributor


Canal+ has operations in France and Poland, through its flagship brand Canal+. It is encrypted for most of the day, and viewers who wish to watch the channel's more popular programming (new-release movies and live sport) must subscribe to the service. Previously this involved the hire of a decoder to decrypt the signal, but increasingly Canal+ is being offered as part of a multi-channel satellite or cable television package (known as CanalSat[previously Canal Satellite]in France.).

Former operations

Canal Plus came to the Nordic countries in 1997, acquiring the two FilmNet-channels and renaming them. The Nordic part was sold in October 2003 to the Telenor-owned Canal Digital, and the Canal+ brand was used under license until 2012, when the channels were re-branded C More Entertainment.

Canal+ has previously also been present in several other European countries; but as of 2016 it is only active in Poland and France.

Canal+ Hi-Tech was a private television channel in France dedicated to the broadcasting of films in 16:9 aspect ratio and HDTV Canal+ 16/9 changed its name to Canal+ Hi-Tech in March 2005. Through this change, the channel offered the latest technological advances in terms of image and sound, especially with high-definition programs. The channel was deleted when switching Canal+ to the 16:9 format.

Canal+ 3D was born on June 10, 2010, to broadcast some matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in 3D. It regularly broadcast films or sporting events of Canal+ in stereoscopic 3D format.

It stopped broadcasting on January 24, 2012.[7]


StudioCanal is a production company created in 1999, associated with NBC Universal until 2009.[8] Nowadays, StudioCanal is operating in several countries such as Germany, Japan, or Australia.[9] For the movie industry, it's a major player at the European level [10]


Formerly Canal Satellite Numérique, a pay satellite and IPTV distributor (as CanalSAT DSL). CanalSat is a satellite TV package launched in 1992.[11] A merger between CanalSat and TPS started in 2007, and finally canceled by the Competition Authority in 2011.[12] With CanalSat, the utilization of the card pairing (QEV) technology allow access to many channels such as, Eurosport, Paris Premiere or LCI.[13]


Thema is a Canal+ Group company that oversees distribution of Pay TV services in various countries, and is the parent company of channels including Novelas TV and Nollywood TV. Thema was founded in 2005 by François Thiellet, and acquired by Canal+ in 2014.[14]


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-12-13. Retrieved 2011-11-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. Vivendi 2017 Annual Report, 2018, Wikidata Q55162519
  3. "Mentions legales Archived 2010-03-27 at the Wayback Machine." Canal+ Group. Retrieved on 5 March 2010.
  4. Journal, John Carreyrou and Bruce OrwallStaff Reporters of The Wall Street. "Vivendi Turmoil Rises as Messier Ousts Popular Canal Plus Chief". WSJ.
  5. Kuhn, Raymond (January 4, 2002). "The Media in France". Taylor & Francis via Google Books.
  6. London, Tim Adler in; London, Tim Adler in (September 29, 2011). "Studiocanal Raises More Film Financing: Says It Won't Have To Borrow To Fund Slate".
  7. "Canal+ abandonne sa chaîne 3D".
  8. "StudioCanal Sues Universal Claiming Millions in Working Title Film Revenue". The Hollywood Reporter.
  9. Hopewell, John; Hopewell, John (July 17, 2012). "Studiocanal buys Hoyts Distribution".
  10. "Vivendi".
  11. Camexport. Archived 2014-12-02 at the Wayback Machine
  12. "France :  Merger of TPS and CanalSat: Competition Authority Pronounces Injunctions".
  13. "CanalSat to offer short-term subscriptions". Broadband TV News. September 24, 2009.
  14. Dziadul, Chris (October 29, 2014). "Canal+ buys Thema". Broadband TV News.
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