Yesterday, the encrypted channel was very profitable, as it was significantly incapacitated, due to the leakage of its subscribers, but also because the audience of its programs clearly evaporated, which divided the revenue from its advertising by ten.
Canal Plus is going from bad to worse according to its financial results. The accounts of the publishing company Canal Plus (which, as its name suggests, is the company that publishes the encrypted channel) have collapsed in recent years.
Since 2012, turnover has decreased by 20% to 1.5 billion euros. This is mainly due to a 15% drop in subscription revenue, due to the journey of half a million subscribers and the launch of discount offers in 2016.
At the same time, the audience for unencrypted sections was roughly divided by ten. Logically, net advertising revenue from these premiums evaporated together, dropping from €159 to €16 million in five years.
Diving in the red zone
Five years ago, unencrypted chips would have cost around 120 million euros, and thus made a margin of about 30 million euros. Today, its cost has undoubtedly decreased, but it has certainly exceeded the meager advertising revenue, making free-to-air broadcasting take a heavy toll.
In general, the chain, which made generous profits yesterday, is now very much in the red. Thus, between 2014 and 2017, its operating income (excluding the balance from the Canal Plus group) went from a profit of +157 million euros to a loss of -128 million.
These poor results contrast with the optimistic rhetoric of leaders. “Canal Plus, which some thought was in trouble, is in good shape. Its results are very satisfactory”, its main shareholder confirmed Vincent Bollor At Vivendi’s last public meeting. The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vivendi added: “For 4 years, Canal Plus has relaunched its activities in France. The recovery of payment channels continues. Many said that it was not possible to restore the channel, we are proving them wrong!” Arnaud de Boifontein. Canal Plus Executive Board Chairman Maxime Saada emphasized that “the performance of our subscriber base has been pretty impressive since mid-2015.” “All indicators are turning green,” the channel’s deputy director general, Frank Cadoret concluded.
For the record, Vivendi, after publishing the results of the encrypted channel from February 2016, stopped doing so in February 2017.
A channel spokesperson responded, when contacted, that Canal Plus is now marketed within a global offering that also includes other channels, and therefore the Canal Plus publisher’s isolated results no longer reflect the current business strategy. The spokesperson adds that the decline in advertising revenue also stems from the decline in non-crypto beaches, which since 2015 have been reduced from 6 to 2 hours per day. Finally, the spokesperson specifies that Canal Plus’s result does not take into account the distribution costs (marketing, advertising, customer service, sales commissions, and set-top boxes), which are incurred by other affiliates.
Update: In an internal letter sent on May 24 and cited SatellitefaxExecutive Board Chairman Maxime Saade noted that the result of pay-TV in France increased by 30 million euros in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the first quarter of 2012. He emphasizes that net shores have never been profitable. Finally, he adds, “Canal+ unfortunately was not profitable in 2012 if distribution costs were taken into account (marketing, sales, customer relations, set-top boxes, etc.)”.
Note that the 2012 financial statements of the publishing company Canal Plus (available below) show a net profit of €50 million. These accounts on pages 65 and 92 specify that Canal Plus Publishing contributed to the distribution costs by paying a distribution commission of €276 million. Had Canal Plus Publishing not have contributed to the distribution costs, its net profit would have been €326 million. The accounts for the year 2012 were approved by the auditors, deposited On the Commercial Court Registry and in the AMF, and was the subject of a press release dated February 27, 2013 (available below).
Results of Canal Plus Publishing Company
Business volume (in millions of euros)
2012: 1941, including 1696 subscriptions and 159 ads
2013: 1941, including 1697 subscriptions and 146 ads
2014: 1868, including 1636 subscriptions and 143 ads
2015: 1802, including 1617 subscriptions and 118 ads
2016: 1704, including 1540 subscriptions and 73 ads
2017: 1544, including 1437 subscriptions and 16 ads
Operating income (in millions of euros, excluding balance*)
Net income (in millions of euros, excluding balance *)
Source: Société d’Edition de Canal Plus . social accounts
Audiences for the unencrypted sector from 6:30 PM to 9 PM (% audience share, >4 years)
2011-12 season: 6.1
2012-2013 season: 5.4
2013-2014 season: 5.5
2014-2015 season: 5
2015-2016 season: 3.2
2016-2017 season: 0.6
2017-2018 season (until mid-April): 0.8
Uncoded segment audiences 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (average audience over 4 years old)
2011-2012 season: 1,324,000
2012-2013 season: 1,152,000
2013-2014 season: 1,130,000
2014-2015 season: 1,012,000
2015-2016 season: 650,000
2016-2017 season: 126000
2017-2018 season (mid-April): 155 thousand
* Until 2015, Société d’édition de Canal Plus paid its Groupe Canal Plus contribution to a balance known as “distribution commission” (276 million euros in 2012, 151 million in 2013, 53 million in 2014, 16 million in 2015). Since 2016, Vivendi has paid a credit to Canal Plus Publishing (105 million in 2016, 135 million in 2017). This batch has been omitted from the results below to better reflect the economic activity of Société d’édition de Canal Plus.