ADDIS ABEBA – French pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus says it has found a local partner in Ethiopia to start its service next year.
Canal + will deploy its pay-TV at the end of 2020, said Grace Loubassou, Institutional Relations Manager Canal Plus Africa, in her office in Paris.
Reports say that the company has reached an agreement with an undisclosed local partner for the distribution and commercialization of the channels of Vivendi’s subsidiary in Ethiopia.
The agreement was signed during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to Ethiopia.
“It was really very challenging to find a local partner in Ethiopia,” said Grace after the company’s first three choices failed to pass the screening process.
The French pay-TV is expected to face competition from StarTimes and MultiChoice, current distributor of Canal Plus’s products in east Africa, in Ethiopia.
With this agreement, Canal plus’s African subscriber base, estimated at 4 million at the end of last year, could increase in size. “With over 100 million population, the country will help us increase our base in Africa,” Grace added.
Canal Plus plans to start at least eight new local tv channels that focus on issues related to entertainment, culture and more in addition to its well-known products including sports channels.
The South African operator, MultiChoice has currently dominated the Ethiopian market.