France Telecom (NYSE: FTE) is looking for buyers for its Orange-branded IPTV channels, and News Corp (NSDQ: NWS) is among the companies said to be potential buyers.
Orange operates the most successful IPTV service in a country that is the world leader in IPTV adoption – some 2.9 million customers.
The service, which also includes VOD, carries several channels but includes own-brand Orange Cinema and Orange Sport packages, the latter carrying the lucrative football matches from France’s Ligue 1.
But new CEO Stéphane Richard said yesterday: “Our goal is not to remain the only shareholder of these TV channels, because it is no longer in line with our new content strategy.”
The channels have 713,000 subscribers and generated 2.7 million paid VOD impressions in the first quarter of the year, France Telecom said in April.
But the prices for the soccer rights have begun to put Orange off. It’s now aiming to invest