France's Canal+ creates new division to spearhead global Internet marketing

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PARIS--French cable TV network Canal+ has formed a new division to manage and promote its multi-media activities worldwide.

Canal New Media will be responsible for creating synergies be-tween Web sites run in France and those run by Canal+ subsidi-aries across Europe, according to Canal+ CEO Pierre Lescure.

The division will assume control over the principal Canal+ Web site as well as the portal site run by CanalSatellite, the cable group controlled by Canal+. Editorial management of the new division will fall under Alain Le Diberder, currently responsible for news programming at Canal+.

Canal+, owned by French corporate titan Vivendi, also plans to create synergies between its TV operations and the Internet through the new division, says Mr. Lescure.

Vivendi controls a 55% stake in AOL France through its holdings in Canal+ and telecommunications operator Cegetel. Vivendi also owns a controlling share in the advertising agency Havas Advertising.

A budget for the new division -- to be run by Alex Berger, until now a special assistant in Mr. Lescure's office -- and more details on advertising and investment plans will be available shortly, says Mr. Lescure.

The next generation of Canal+ decoders -- planned for a 2000 launch -- will be equipped for Internet access.

Copyright September 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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