Canal+ Expands Investment in Viu, Asian Streamer


France’s Canal+ Group has increased its stake in multi-territory Asian video streamer Viu to 36.8%. It says that the move is in accordance with the terms of the strategic partnership with Viu owner PCCW Group announced a year ago and follows the satisfaction of key business milestones.

The move is the second time that Canal+ has increased its share stake and means that Canal+ has released the last instalment of its $300 million staggered investment. “This investment is a renewed testimony to Canal+’s commitment to develop Asia as one of the group’s growth engines and underlines Canal+’s confidence in Viu and its team,” the French company said in a statement. A further investment, at Canal+’s discretion, could lift its ownership stake in Viu to 51%.


Days after the completion of the festival, “The Moogai” was revealed as the winner of the audience award for best Australian feature at the Sydney Film Festival. Directed by Jon Bell and adapted from an earlier short film, “The Moogai” combines chilling elements of psychological horror with disturbing history.

Mohammad Rasoulof’s “The Seed of the Sacred Fig,” which won five awards at Cannes and forced Rasoulof to flee his homeland after the Iranian government sentenced him to flogging and imprisonment for making his film without obtaining a license, was the winner in the international feature category.

Audience awards for documentaries went to Australia’s “Skategoat” and Madeleine Gavin’s “The Home Game.”

The festival was completed at the weekend and revealed its juried awards on Sunday.


Starlight Culture Entertainment, a Chinese group which operates loss-making film investment businesses in Los Angeles, has asked for more time to complete a planned capital restructuring. Earlier this month, the group said that it planned a ten-to-one share consolidation in order to remain in compliance with Hong Kong Stock Exchange’s share listing requirements. Starlight’s annual report reveals that last year it defaulted on HK$501 million ($64 million) of loans and that at the end of 2023 it had a net deficit of HK$378 million ($48.5 million). Now it says that the proposed capital reduction is not ready.

In its heyday, Starlight was an investor in “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Midway.”


Sony Music Entertainment India and prominent Hindi producer Maddock Films (“Love Aaj Kal,” “Cocktail,” “Badlapur,” “Hindi Medium,” “Stree” and “Luka Chuppi”) have agreed a broad strategic collaboration with the goal of producing music projects, encompassing film soundtracks and independent pop projects featuring A-list Indian talent.

Proposed projects include: soundtracks for the upcoming Hindi film “Chhava” starring Vicky Kaushal and Rashmika Mandanna with music by A.R. Rahman, the drama “Diler” featuring Ibrahim Ali Khan, and “Ikkis” starring Agastya Nanda with music by Sachin-Jigar. The deal will also cover soundtracks for “Luka Chhupi 2,” “Sector 36” starring Vikrant Massey, “Sarvagunn Sampan” featuring Vaani Kapoor, and “Rumi Ki Sharafat” starring Radhika Madan.


Rakuten, the Japanese home shopping and entertainment group, is launching Rakuten Play, a free service that aims to help Japanese consumers navigate their way through the mass of streaming services to find the content they want.

Japan’s streaming landscape is one with multiple services offering overlapping acquired content offerings and some originals. An incentive to use the Rakuten Play service is the ability to earn home shopping points for consumers who sign up to a streamer through the platform.

At launch, Rakuten Play will analyze Abema, Hulu Japan, U-Next, WOWOW On Demand, Rakuten TV, R Channel, NBA Rakuten and Rakuten Pacific League Special. Prime Video, the streaming market leader in Japan, and Netflix are absent from the list, though Rakuten says that more services are to be added soon. 

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