A+E Networks is joining forces with Gaul's pay TV leader Canal Plus to bow two branded channels: Planete Plus A&E and Planet Plus Crime + Investigation (CI).

Both channels, carried exclusively on the Gallic paybox's satellite platform CanalSat, will broadcast original content from A+E Nets' factual entertainment catalogue, as well as local French and European productions.

"The rollout of Planete Plus A&E and Planete Plus CI in France marks an important milestone for A+E Networks," said Dean Possenniskie, A+E Networks' managing director of Europe. "We're looking forward to working closely with Canal+ to bringing French audiences the highest quality factual entertainment programming and strengthening our viewership in this vital market."

Among the programs set to air on Planete Plus A&E are "Duck Dynasty," "Storage Wars," "Billy the Exterminator," "My Ghost Story," "Pawn Stars," and "Counting Cars."

Planete Plus CI will feature such well-known A&E shows as "Cajun Justice," "Crime 360," "Casanova Killers," "Escaping Evil: My Life in a Cult" and "I Killed My BFF."

CI is Australia's number two factual net and it's a top-rated factual net in the UK, according to A+E Networks.

France the only major Western European market where A+E Networks hadn't launched. Its rival on French soil is Discovery Communications, which forged an alliance with leading commercial net TF1 Group in late 2012.

Speaking to Variety during Mipcom, Sean Cohan, SVP of international at A+E Networks, was upbeat about the state of the international TV landscape.

"No doubt there are challenges and the indicators are not all rosy but there's a prevailing sense -- even in Southern Europe -- that things are about to get better and I find buyers a little more upbeat," Cohan said. "It doesn't mean they're doing things irrationally: people are a lot more mindful of where we just came from."

He added, "The same way that 'the sky is falling' is no longer a theme, there's no longer a view among some communities that linear TV is being threatened by the proliferation of platforms. We know that TV isn't going anywhere and it's dominating popular consciousness more than ever."

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