Altice to acquire majority stake in French OTT TV start-up, Molotov

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Altice France, which owns operator SFR, has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire a majority stake with ambitions to create “a Spotify of TV”.

Molotov is an over-the-top (OTT) streaming platform. It offers free access to all major TV channels, as well as live streaming and replays. Subscriptions are available for access to premium channels.

Molotov, which has around 7 million users, will retain its brand. Altice France says the partnership between SFR and Molotov will speed up the development of Molotov to enable it to compete in France and abroad. Molotov would benefit from Altice's own premium content, but arguably more importantly, from the deals it has Hollywood studios, like NBCUniversal, for Altice’s own premium channel Altice Studio.

It will also allow Altice to offer more content services to its customers.

Big ambitions

Molotov CEO and co-founder, Jean-David Blanc, said the deal will help the company fulfil its ambition to become “the Spotify of TV in France and abroad”.

Alain Weill, Chief Executive Officer of Altice France, said the partnership will demonstrate the important link between content and very high-speed infrastructure.

He said: “We have the ambition to be the most innovative digital and OTT operator on the market in order to offer our customers, and everyone who watches our content, the best experience."

The French regulator Arcep says it received more complaints about SFR than any other network in 2018. SFR received a score of just 6.6 out of 10 for its internet services and 6.8 for mobile by its customers.

Also in 2018, Altice Netherlands acquired the Teads online video advertising marketplace.