Troubled French streamer Salto could be shuttered as early as the end of this week, according to local reports.
Salto only launched two years ago but has failed to secure a substantial subscriber base, with shareholders TF1 and M6 confirming their plans to pull out after the abandonment of their proposed merger deal in the face of regulatory opposition.
The streaming service’s third shareholder, France Télévisions, had already indicated it would look to exit Salto when news broke of TF1 and M6’s proposed merger. Despite that deal falling apart, French trade site Puremedia has reported that the public broadcaster is now set to formally close the streamer on Friday.
Salto was beset by regulatory delays and eventually made it to market years after rivals such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video had established themselves.
It offered local programming from France TV, M6 and TF1, such as the latter’s Demain Nous Appartient, as well as numerous international shows, including Cineflix’s Canadian dark comedy drama Happily Married (C’est Comme Ça Que Je T’aime).
Amazon, along with French pay TV operator Canal+, had been linked with a potential acquisition for Salto in November, although French reports suggest Spanish OTT operator Agile Content had also been exploring a deal.
That scenario now appears unlikely, with France Télévisions CEO Delphine Ernotte set to unveil the “dissolution” of the company on Friday, according to reports. Assets and rights held by Salto will likely be sold off to recoup investments, with Amazon among contenders.
Amazon already distributes Salto – which has 800,000 subscribers – on its Prime Video service in France. The streaming service has invested in sports rights in the country, including the Roland Garros French Open tennis championship, as well as numerous originals and acquisitions.
TBI has contacted Salto & France Télévisions for comment.