The French Canal+ enters the Asian streaming business.
The French pay-TV giant announced Wednesday that it is buying a 26.1 percent stake in Hong Kong-based OTT video service Viu for a diversified investment of $300 million. As part of the deal, Canal+ will have the option to pay an additional amount to increase its stake to 51 percent.
The partners said the deal will “enable Canal+ to take a major step forward in developing Asia as its next growth engine.”
Launched in 2015 with backing from Hong Kong telecommunications company PCCW, Viu’s video service offers both ad- and subscription-supported options in 16 territories across Asia, the Middle East and South Africa. The company says it has more than 66 million monthly active users and 12 million paying subscribers. Most of those users are believed to be based in Asia.
Viu specializes in licensing and producing original Korean content, but it also creates original content in Southeast Asian territories, including Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. In 2022, the company reported more than $250 million in revenue, growing 36 percent year-over-year.
“CANAL+ already has leading market positions in Europe and Africa,” says Maxime Saada, CEO of CANAL+. “We now look forward to developing Asia as an additional growth engine for the group. Our investment in Viu is an important step towards achieving this goal.”
Janice Lee, Viu’s CEO and Managing Director at PCCW added, “Having created a robust streaming business, we are pleased to have the addition of CANAL+ as a strategic investor to further accelerate growth by leveraging CANAL+’s global strength in premium productions, content creation and distribution expertise, we look forward to the next phase of our business with the combined forces of PCCW and CANAL+ behind Viu.”