French pay-TV heavyweight Canal Plus has increased its shareholding in Viu, the over-the-top (OTT) streaming platform owned by Hong Kong-based telecommunications group PCCW, to nearly 37%.

This comes after the broadcaster upped its stake to 30% earlier this year.

The original deal between Canal Plus and Viu was struck in June last year, in which an initial stake of 26.1% in Viu was taken and $200 million of investment was agreed. That deal also included Canal Plus guaranteeing another $100 million of investment later – which was done in February.

In a statement issued today, Canal Plus said: “After satisfaction of key business milestones, Canal Plus Group has released the last installment of its US$300 million staggered investment and increased its stake in Viu to 36.8%.

“This investment is a renewed testimony to Canal Plus’ commitment to develop Asia as one of the group’s growth engine and underlines Canal Plus’ confidence in Viu and its team.”

The Vivendi-owned company also has the option to eventually increase its Viu shareholding to a majority of 51% through further investment.

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ViuTV, the entertainment channel also owned by PCCW, held rights in Hong Kong to soccer's 2022 FIFA World Cup and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

It is currently available in 16 countries, including across Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and South Africa.

In June 2023, Canal Plus said it would use the tie-up to take “a major step” in developing Asia as its next growth market.

Canal Plus already has a presence in Vietnam and last year acquired exclusive media rights to all competitions run by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) governing body covering the 2025-28 cycle.

In terms of its other stakes, meanwhile, Canal Plus recently increased its holding in European media heavyweight Viaplay (which is still facing significant financial challenges) to 29%, becoming its largest shareholder.

The pay-TV giant, which helps to distribute Viaplay in European regions such as Poland and Austria through its regional networks, purchased its initial 12% stake in the media group in July 2023.

In addition, the French broadcaster is set to purchase the entirety of South African broadcaster MultiChoice after tabling a mandatory offer for the remaining shares that it does not already own in the African entertainment powerhouse in April.

Canal Plus, which owns around 36.6% of Multichoice, has bid 35 billion South African rand ($1.9 billion) to acquire the remaining 63.4%.

The offer, which works out at 125 rand per share, is equal to a bid that the French company tabled in March when it entered exclusive purchase talks with Multichoice.

Subsequently, Canal Plus took its stake in Multichoice to over 35%, triggering a mandatory purchase offer which has now been tabled. The deadline for that bid was April 8.