Video services

FT Goes to Le Cinéma

9:45 AM -- Of all the carriers in the world, which one would you most want to see leaping feet first into the movie production business, pumping money into new film production?

My choice would be Orange (NYSE: FTE), simply because the French understand 'Le Cinéma,' have a great history of movie-making, and are unashamedly uncompromising.

So great news today, as FT is indeed getting into that game, and has set up a "subsidiary dedicated to cinematographic investments" that will invest in new productions and back catalogues.

And here's proof that FT isn't doing this half-heartedly. It has hired Frédérique Dumas, an experienced film producer with numerous awards under her, sans doute, very stylish belt, to "manage this structure."

Of course, it's not all romance and culture. The move is "in line with France Telecom's strategy, which aims to move from a network access logic to a service access logic," says the carrier's press release. "Under its unique Orange brand, the Group is already offering Internet, mobile and television audiovisual content services. Orange's objective is to offer customers the best in cinematographic creation."

So guess which color will be overused in certain European art-house movies in the coming few years. And I'm offering a cash prize (in €uros, of course) to the first person to spot an actor making a call using a Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD)-branded handset in a FT-financed movie...

This gets me thinking: What sorts of films would the likes of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA), Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), or Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) back if they followed in FT's footsteps?

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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