The French online video service Salto is likely to close a little more than two years after it launched. Originally created as a joint venture between France Télévisions, M6 and TF1, the two commercial broadcasters pulled out after abandoning their planned merger in the face of objections from the competition authority. The business is now likely to close and is seeking a buyer for its technical assets and customer base.
Delphine Ernotte, the chief executive of the nation public broadcaster France Télévisions, has decided to disengage from the Salto platform.
A meeting at France Télévisions on 20 January was convened to discuss dissolution of the service and cessation of activity.
The business will seek to sell its assets and settle outstanding liabilities, with a reported deficit of €85 million.
The Spanish group Agile had expressed an interest. Amazon and Canal+ are also reported to have been interested. Amazon distributes Salto on its Prime Video Service in France.
Salto failed to reach more than a million subscribers, compared to Netflix with an estimated 12 million in France.
France Télévisions planned to pull out of Salto when the commercial broadcasters TF1 and M6 announced their plans to merge. After the planned merger was called off over what they saw as unacceptable measures required by the competition authority, they decided to sell their stakes in Salto.
It looks like the end of the ambition by French broadcasters to provide a commercial alternative to Netflix, although there have been calls to create a public consortium bringing together France Télévisions, TV5 Monde and Arte.