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Source: Canal Plus

France’s beleaguered pay-TV group Canal Plus has confirmed it is planning to axe up to 500 jobs.

The group said it had unveiled details of the planned job losses at a special presentation to employee representatives of a “global transformation project”.

The body said the cuts to staff were in response to the “upheavals” shaking the audiovisual sector and the professions related to it.

The announcement comes amid a difficult time for the group which has seen subscriptions tumble to below five million in the face of rising competition from global platforms like Netflix.

“The Canal Plus Group has been committed to redefining its growth model for several years in order to become a world player for French and European culture,” it said in a statement.

“In the framework, the company has accelerated the development of its international activities and kicked off a move into digital to give clients an original, attractive and renewed experience.”

It listed a number of initiatives it had set in motion since 2015 including the introduction of a basic subscription package priced at €20 a month as well as new partnerships with telecom partners and the catch-up platform myCanal.

The statement countered that “unfortunately, these initiatives have proven insufficient in face of a full-blown digital revolution and the arrival of global platforms, that had been digital and international from the outset.”

These platforms, it continued, had considerable financial clout “without the same fiscal constraint and regulations which weigh on the Canal Plus Group”.

It said that it was against this background that the group would continue to push its “digitalisation” and “rationalisation” plan.

The job-cutting process would begin July 15 and 16 and would be voluntary in nature, the group said, resulting in a maximum of 492 job losses.

The group has some 2,800 employees in France and another 7,000 worldwide. Only French staff will be affected by the planned cuts.