Orange is to launch a new content division and has committed €100 million over the next five years to producing a range of “ambitious series”.

The France-based operator said its new Orange Content arm, which comes into being on 1 September, brings together its existing Orange Studio, OCS and OPTV businesses.

Orange Studio acquires and co-produces films, OCS is a collection of four film channels, while OPTV is a technical team dealing with the video on demand and Orange TV projects.

David Kessler, Head of Orange Studio, and Serge Laroye, Head of Content, will lead the new division as Director and Deputy Director respectively.

Reporting directly to Group CEO Stéphane Richard, the two men will be charged with acquiring rights, managing production, creating new solutions and overseeing strategic output across all of the operator’s opcos.

Announcing Orange Content, the operator said it would invest €100 million over the next five years in co-producing a range of series.

Back in March, when Richard hinted at the changes announced today, the CEO and his counterpart at HBO said they were hopeful of producing content together.

Precise details of what Orange plans to do remain unclear, however.

The operator has also expanded a partnership with French film company UGC.

OCS will be able to distribute films made by UGC’s Images production house before anyone else, while Orange Studio will handle the international marketing for all UGC Images films next year.

Further, Orange said it would provide a new CANAL+ ESSENTIEL offering – details of which were not provided – to its fibre broadband customers and renewed its partnership with the Cannes Film Festival.

[Read more: Orange wins exclusive rights to new Besson film]

Richard said: "Orange Content aims to guarantee the richness of our offer in France and abroad and to give more visibility and consistency to our offers in the field of content."

In May, Orange Chief Financial and Strategy Officer Ramon Fernandez said he was not prepared to pay “extremely high prices” for content.

He said the operator was spending more than €600 million a year on its various film, TV and video offerings currently.

Orange's content revamp comes as rival Altice continues to invest heavily – last month it signed a multi-year deal with Netflix.

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