Whenever a company needs to tighten its belt, staff reductions are almost guaranteed. So, when Canal+ chairman Pierre Lesclure stated last week that the company would be restructuring to bring down overhead costs, the subsequent announcement that 217 positions would be eliminated across the French divisions of Canal+ was somewhat less than a shocker.
Lesclure has said that Canal+ will not lay off displaced staffers, but rather will seek to relocate them within either Canal+ or the larger Vivendi/Universal infrastructure. The lion share of downsizing is set to occur at the main French broadcast network, where an estimated 100 positions will be cut.
Canal+ in France has also re-examined its programming schedule and opted for some changes. A company spokesperson confirmed that Canal+ will up the programming budget by FF500 million (US$65 million), with greater emphasis on its encrypted programs, which largely consist of movies, sports programs and large-scale docs such as Africa (National Geographic, Tigress, Thirteen/WNET, Magic Box Mediaworks), which will air on Canal+ during the upcoming season.