Canal Plus has confirmed that it is to cut 217 jobs in France. The pay-TV operator, which is 49% owned by Vivendi Universal, said that it is restructuring its programming output in order to compensate for rising costs in its film and sports divisions.

The French channel said yesterday that it would not lay off the personnel, but instead offer them 'other job opportunities'.

The broadcaster currently has 4.6 million subscribers and has boosted its programming budget to $820m (FFR6.3bn) for 2001 (a $65m increase on 2000). It claims that its film and sport output will remain as strong as ever.

Some 99 jobs are to go in the in-house production department (the channel's flagship unencrypted show Nulle Part Ailleurs is to be axed, among others), 71 at fledgling all-news channel i-television, and 35 at Canal Numedia (internet-related businesses). Programme acquisition arm CIA and niche channel Demain will also be affected.