Molotov has been quite secretive over the past two years. The French startup wants to revolutionize your TV experience and partners with existing French networks. This is no small feat as you need to negotiate with many different companies one by one. That’s why today’s news is important as the startup just announced deals with most French networks, with a notable exception — Canal+.
As a reminder, Molotov is backed by an impressive team with AlloCiné co-founder Jean-David Blanc, Canal+ co-founder Pierre Lescure, former TF1 executive Jean-Marc Denoual, and Gamekult and Sens Critique co-founder Kevin Kuipers. They already raised $11.2 million from Idinvest and a few business angels (€10 million) to build an over-the-top TV provider.
The company has signed deals with TF1, France Télévisions, M6, Arte, Nextradio TV, Lagardère Active and others. You’ll be able to access content from all the major French networks, except Canal+ — Canal+ owns multiple channels, including Canal+, D8, D17 and iTélé. This is a notable omission but Molotov still has an incredible array of content with its existing partners.
Canal+ is a premium channel, but that’s not the reason why it doesn’t want to work with Molotov as other premium channels, such as OCS and beIN Sports, will be available on Molotov in the coming months. The reason might be that Canal+ also operates Canalsat, a subscription service to access a vast array of channels on your TV, set-top box, tablet, laptop, etc.
The startup will demo its product on November 4 at France’s TV regulator CSA. After that, people who requested an invite on the company’s website will have access to the beta. The official public launch will come later.
Eventually, Molotov plans to be available on all your screens — your TV, laptop, phone and tablet. It will mix live and catch-up content in a unified interface with a few nifty features. Molotov gives a lot of flexibility and lets you watch TV on your terms
While Apple is focused on negotiating with American networks for a similar service in the U.S., Molotov is well positioned to provide the best TV experience in France. Now let’s just hope that Canal+ won’t turn down Molotov for too long.
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