Ex-Canal+ and Fremantle execs launching baby boomer channel

Former Canal+ exec Philippe Gildas and ex-Fremantle France boss Gaspard de Chavagnac are launching a French lifestyle channel for the baby boomer generation. Pay TV platform CanalSat has greenlit the project, which has taken five years to come about, and which will caters specifically to the 45-to-65-year-old viewers.

The channel is called Vivolta – it was originally going to be called Vista – and will launch on December 10th in the basic package of DTH and IPTV platform CanalSat and on cable network Numéricâble, reaching a potential 16.5 million TV viewers.

Gildas and de Chavagnac, through their company Televista own 56 % of the channel along with investment funds including A+ Finance, Altice and Henderson Global Investors. M6 will handle the channel’s advertising sales.

Gildas, who will anchor a daily morning news slot, said: “Vivolta, which has banned the word ‘senior’ from its vocabulary, is editorially conceived as a bi-media offer, available both on television and web, and as a channel with many points of view and a strong character.”

Half of the schedule will be composed of magazines, produced partly in-house. They will presented by baby-boomer journalists such as Jérôme Bonaldi, Jacques Pradel, Marie-Ange Nardi, and Anette Burgdorf.

Entitled Les Dossiers Pradel, the afternoon talk show will presented by former reality TV presenter Jacques Pradel. There will also be three other 1x40mins magazine shows, produced by 17 Juin Media, which will be shown each week and cover money and property, healthcare and leisure issues.

Primetime slots will be dedicated to feature films, TV movies and documentaries. Mondays will feature movies including a Western movie legends strand, Tuesdays will offer police series and thrillers like Carlton Productions’ UK drama Kavanagh QC and CBC’s Da Vinci’s Inquest. Fridays will offer French dramas and miniseries. History and docs will be aired on Sunday and Thursday and the launch slate includes Gédéon Programmes’ King’s Valley, Africa Trek and France 5’s Terra Antartica.

Vivolta.com will launch with the channel and feature content related to the TV schedule as well as e-commerce and home shopping services from 2008.

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly, Paris

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