M6 Group’s Maud Branly


As the children’s acquisitions director and international TV channels children’s programming director for the M6 Group, Maud Branly has a wide buying remit. The bouquet she acquires for includes Gulli, M6, Canal J, Tiji, Gulli Girl Russia, Tiji Russia, Gulli Bil Arabi, Gulli Africa and Gulli Brasil. Branly tells TV Kids about what’s on her wish list for programming acquisitions.

***Image***TV KIDS: Tell us about the broad portfolio under your remit.
BRANLY: We have a very wide range of channels and platforms in France and worldwide. We have our main TV channel, Gulli, our free DTT channel in France. We are number one for kids from 4 to 10, and we are the reference for kids’ television for kids and family. It is a great responsibility. We are very committed to societal issues, such as the environment and gender equality, and all of our programs represent these values. We operate the M6 Kid morning block. Since September, we have a complementary offer between Gulli and M6, when M6 proposed preschool content. We have comedy series on Gulli. We have three pay-TV channels in France: Canal J, a generational channel for kids 8 to 12 with mainly comedy and action series; Tiji, for preschoolers; and the Santa Claus Channel, our seasonal channel with only Christmas-related content. We have Gulli and Tiji in Russia, CIS and the Baltics. Tiji is the same as in France, with preschool content. Gulli in Russia has been rebranded to Gulli Girl. Then, we have Gulli Africa in French-speaking Africa, airing in 22 territories. Like in France, we are very committed to societal issues. We have Gulli Bil Arabi in the Middle East, and Gulli Brasil for Brazilian kids. We also have a nonlinear offer in France, our own SVOD GulliMax, also number one for kids. We are developing an SVOD offering in Russia, Africa, the Middle East and Brazil. My role in all of this is to do the acquisitions. I make the editorial selection and acquire the rights.

TV KIDS: How much are you buying in a given year?
BRANLY: It’s very complicated to give an amount of hours acquired every year, especially with all the TV platforms and channels that we have. The need for content is always growing. In the last year, we acquired more nonlinear rights. We started to make acquisitions for exclusive SVOD rights. Sometimes now, we make the first window on the SVOD platform. That’s a big change. In the past, the first window was always reserved for pay television. Now, for some programs, it’s SVOD, pay TV and free TV. We also started to acquire content for our AVOD platform, without any linear broadcast. We know that in the upcoming year, the major challenge will be digital transformation. We have to adapt our acquisition strategy because kids’ habits are changing very quickly. And also, with the pandemic and anxiety-inducing climate, we want to strengthen the trusting relationships with parents. With successive lockdowns, kids spent many hours watching television alone while their parents worked from home. It’s very important to propose a secure and editorialized space with Gulli. Especially now that there are so many video offers for kids, it’s important to propose a secured space with our brands.

TV KIDS: What are some of the brand values, or even certain directives, that you have to keep top of mind when sourcing programming?
BRANLY: We want our programs to offer ways of thinking about tolerance and open-mindedness, knowing how to live together. The success of our channel was built on the trust of parents to have non-violent shows with good values. Any kid can watch any show at any time without seeing something inappropriate. We are very open-minded in terms of content, but of course, it has to be appropriate to kids, with no violence or cruel language. We don’t want any shows that are anxiety-inducing because kids are already facing complicated situations these days.

TV KIDS: In terms of genres, what are you currently on the lookout for?
BRANLY: We cover a large audience from 3 years old to families, so our main goal is to keep [our viewers’] trust by offering quality content. We are looking for preschool, comedy series, live action, all kinds of content. We like to be surprised. We want to find the right balance between preexisting, known programs and original creations. We launched a new prime-time slot on Gulli called Gulli Prime. It’s targeting not only children but adults. Not just the parents, but it can be young adults. We propose a very surprising and joyful program with movies, TV movies, ready-made. We are really looking for all kinds of content for our channels.