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Sky buys into French OTT service

JeanDavid Blanc & Pierre LescureSky has invested €4 million (US$4.5 million) in French over-the-top video platform Molotov, which launched publically in France in July.

Announcing its investment on Friday, Sky said that thefunding was part of a larger Molotov financing round and is the latest in aseries of Sky investments in start-up companies.

The ‘freemium’ Molotov service was unveiled in 2015 and launched fully this year, offering viewers access to live or catch-up TV content across different devices.

The cross-platform TV service lets users watch 33 channels, including 25 French digital terrestrial TV channels, and access 10 hours of‘bookmarked’ content for free.

A €3.99 per-month option offers 100 hours of additional bookmarks, letting users record shows and watch them back across devices, while a €9.99 per-month version includes 70 HD channels, four simultaneous streams and 100 hours of bookmarks.

Canal+ founder Pierre Lescure (above left), AlloCiné founder Jean-David Blanc (above right) and former TF1 exec Jean-Marc Denoual are behind the service, first setting up Molotov in 2014.

Sky has now invested in a string of digital companies. Last month, along with UK broadcaster Channel 4, it bought into Dial Square 86, the parent company of new rights trading platform TRX.

In March, Sky also invested US$6 million (€5.5 million) in US-based sports streaming service fuboTV. Its other investments in US technology companies include online sports network Whistle Sports, IP streaming service provider Roku and cinematic virtual reality company Jaunt.