France Telecom-Orange is to shut its Orange Sport service in France at the end of June, citing CEO Stéphane Richard’s recent decision to rebalance the group’s content strategy by reinforcing its content aggregation and distribution business.
Orange Sport will cease operations on June 30th, and the company has signed accords with three major partners to bolster the existing sports package on Orange TV: Al Jazeera, CANAL+ and Media365.
Under the terms of the new agreements, Orange will offer its TV subscribers the sports channels of Al Jazeera (beIN SPORT 1 and beIN SPORT 2) as soon as they are launched.
Orange will also distribute the new sports information channel of Media365, a high-end channel that will be dedicated to sports and related business news, and discussions are currently underway with CANAL+ to acquire certain Orange sports rights.
The telco recently revealed that it added 1mn subscribers across Europe to its various pay-TV services in the first quarter of this year to reach 5.35mn, with 4.5mn of these being in its native France.
Just yesterday Orange launched its new social TV app TVcheck in the UK (more details here), which it describes as creating a “fun, social TV experience”.
The new app, which was launched in France last September, enables users to check in to their favourite programmes and connect with friends, unlock games, earn badges and chat about favourite programmes on social networks.