December 15, 2019 / 10:57 PM / a month ago

Disney+ to debut late March in France in exclusive deal with Canal+

FILE PHOTO: A man looks at his phone as he passes by a screen advertising Walt Disney's streaming service Disney+ in New York City, U.S., November 12, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) will launch its Disney+ streaming service on Vivendi SA’s (VIV.PA) pay-TV business Canal+ platform by the end of March next year, executives of the two groups said in a joint interview released in the daily Les Echos on Sunday.

Traditional media companies like Canal+ are under pressure to find ways to bulk up their content as they face competition from deep-pocketed online streaming platforms such as Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) and newcomers in the sports rights business such as Chinese-owned Mediapro.

“This exclusive partnership is a new major step in the transformation of the Canal+ model,” said the French broadcaster’s chief executive, Maxime Saada.

Saada declined to say how much Canal+ would charge for Disney+.

Kevin Mayer, who heads Disney’s Direct-to-consumer & International business, confirmed the U.S. group hoped to acquire 60 million to 90 million customers by 2024.

Data from analytics firm Sensor Tower on Friday estimated that Disney+ had been installed by an estimated 28 million customers across five countries since its launch on Nov. 12.

Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Peter Cooney

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