France is well-known for its strong love of film and theatres, and with that strong love comes strong protection. So much in fact that under French law, no theatrically released film is allowed on streaming services unless it is more than 3 years old. But that law is about to change…
The 3-year term isn’t going away completely, but thanks to negotiations between France’s National Center of Cinema (CNC) and various film studios, it will be drastically cut short in an agreement that will be signed tomorrow (January 24th).
Before this new agreement, only Canal+ was allowed to host new films, but even they had to wait 8 months after the movies left cinemas. Under the new terms, Canal+ will be allowed to host new movies after 6 months.
As for Amazon Prime and Disney+, they will be allowed to upload films 17 months after their theatrical release, and free television channels will be allowed to air new movies 22 months after their theatrical release.
But not everyone is a winner because Netflix has managed to reach a golden deal with the CNC as they will only have to wait 15 months after the theatrical release window. This is due to a separate agreement made in which Netflix promises to financially contribute to French cinema, accompanied by a “diversity clause”, which will see Netflix invest in smaller films whose budgets are less than €4 million.
Yes, French movie-goers will still have more than a year to wait for the most recent releases, but it is still a far-cry shorter than the previous 3-years. Hopefully, Disney+ in France will see a slew of newer movies added once the deal is signed.