Canal+ is a major French television company, best known for the eponymous premium television channel. Over the years, the company has built up an impressive amount of thematic channels. Aside from the Canal+-branded channels that are a part of the the Canal+ premium "bouquet", there is also a bunch of channels in lower price-ranges that don't use the Canal+ name. They include a bunch of movie channels called CinéCinéma, four documentary channels called Planète and further thematic channels for news, sports, sports news, comedy, kids programmes, programmes for toddlers, television series, food programmes etcetera.
These channels have all had independent identities, but now it seems that is about to change. Canal+ is rebranding its thematic channels to include plus signs in their names and giving them all consistent logos. The CinéCinéma channels will be known as Ciné+. The other channels will simply add a plus sign at the end of the name, so Planète becomes Planète+, Comédie! becomes Comédie+, Télétoon becomes Télétoon+ etcetera.
I haven't found any info from Canal+ about this, so I don't know what their rationale behind this rebranding exercise is. It links together many TV brands with different origins that until now have had different target audiences and distinct identities. It is common to use an existing TV brand when launching a new TV channel, but it less common to impose a master brand on already established independent brands. There is a strong trend in Europe to link back to one corporate master brand in channel names, especially among state broadcasters and other broadcasters with a strong public connection, but there are some moving in the other direction (UKTV in the United Kingdom, for example).
It seems like this was first discovered by a vigilant user on the French media forum Lenodal called "jyheme", who reported about a bunch of trademark applications that had been filed to the French intellectual property office in early March. So far, I have seen very little other coverage about this, but it appears the new names will launch on May 17.
The recurring element in the new channel logos is a (usually grey) rectangle with the channel name written with Canal+'s adaptation of Futura. Canal+ has used a similar rectangle logo since 1995. The rest of the execution differs, and most channels carry over elements from their previous identity.
The new logos that have been discovered so far are displayed below with most of the previous logos. The group also the news channel i-Télé, the food channel Cuisine TV, the hunting/fishing channel Seasons and the TV series channel Jimmy.
CinéCinéma is a package of themed movie channels, which will be renamed Ciné+. It was launched in 1991 and has expanded over the years, merging with TPS in 2007, and soon also merging with Orange Cinéma Séries. The previous look was launched in 2008 and used a system of angled rectangles. With the exception of the altered main logo, that system seems mostly preserved.
The sports channel Sport+ was known as Pathé Sport until 2002 when the movie studio sold it to Canal+. The other sports channels already had a strong visual link to Canal+. Foot+ and Rugby+ and premium channels dedicated to soccer and rugby, respectively, while InfoSport is a sports news channel which came to Canal+ after it merged with the competing satellite broadcaster TPS in 2007.
Their new logos use an additional tilted rectangle with a folded corner, retaining their previous colours.
Planète is a documentary channel founded in 1988. Its logo has always been a rectangle with the channel name and a circle. The current "marble" version of the logo was launched in January 2004. It also has three sister channels, with logos based on the same template.
In the new logos, the marbles are kept and placed behind the grey rectangle.
The comedy channel Comédie! simply takes the previous exclamation mark icon and slaps the grey rectangle on top.
The kids channels are completely overhauled. The logos have irregular blobs in the background and cuddlier letters on the rectangle.
CanalSat magazine (archive)