Media chronology has been at the center of heated discussions in France for years. As a reminder, this device governs order and deadlines in which the TV channels and the streaming platforms and SVoD (Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video…) can broadcast a film released at the cinema.
This system, necessary to protect all players in French cinema (producer, distributor, exhibitor, publisher, etc.) is today considered aging and obsolete, and offset with the new realities of film distribution in the world.
For example, a film released in theaters today can wait 3 years before arriving on a platform SVoD like Netflix or Disney+. An aberration, while the film is available on DVD / Blu-Ray / VOD after 4 months.
Netflix and Canal+ big winners, Disney+, TF1 and M6 left behind
After long months of negotiation, the newspaper l’Opinion revealed that 28 film professionals should sign this Monday, January 24 a new version of this media timeline. The new proposed deadlines have fallen: Canal + and Netflix are doing well, when Disney +, Amazon Prime Video, TF1, M6 and France TV are the big losers.
Here are the timelines for this new media timeline:
- Canal+ : 6 months after the theatrical release of a film (instead of 8 months)
- Netflix : 15 months after discharge (instead of 36 months)
- Disney+, Amazon Prime Video : 17 months after discharge (instead of 36 months)
- TF1, M6, France Televisions, Art : 22 months after release, and broadcast exclusivity for up to 36 months
As one can see, Canal+ and Netflix are doing well, and are shaping up to be the big winners of this new version of the media chronology. This agreement is nevertheless correlated with an investment obligation: Netflix and Canal+ have an obligation to invest in French productions.
On the other side, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+ and other SVoD platforms are clearly the big losers, and see their direct rivals take an advantage. According to some sources, the SACD (Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers, a copyright management organization) and Disney are threatening not to sign this new agreement.
A new media timeline that looks like half a step forward. If the passage from 36 to 17 (and 15 months) for SVoD platforms is a welcome shortening, it still seems enormously out of step with its time, at the time of globalized piracy.
Indeed, in 2021, several Hollywood blockbusters have opted for an SVoD release 45 days only after the theatrical release, when Warner opted for simultaneous theatrical and streaming release for its films Dune and Matrix: Resurrections. A choice that automatically made these films available for illegal downloading in stride.
This new media chronology, if properly signed this Monday at noon, will come into effect February 10, 2022, the date on which the previous agreement expired.
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