Bisbilles between Canal + and the world of football

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Twenty-eight of the thirty-eight days of Ligue 1 were played before the suspension of the competition on March 13, 2020. ERIC GAILLARD / REUTERS

This letter from Canal +, the Professional Football League (LFP) received it as a slap. On Friday March 27, the pay television group warned the organizer of the French football championship that he was no longer paying his bills. He will therefore not discharge the ” Expiration “ due to the title of the broadcast of Ligue 1, and this while the matches were stopped on March 13, the day after Emmanuel Macron’s speech, invoking the state of war in which France was in the face of the coronavirus. Reason invoked in the missive: Covid-19 which affects the entire Vivendi subsidiary.

“This is part of a crisis that is affecting the group”, essentially justifies Canal + stating that its “Advertising revenues are falling”, his “International activities are affected”. As a result, the group “Take action”because it doesn’t have “Other choice” that of “Suspend payments”. However, unlike free channels, Canal + lives mainly on subscriptions, and therefore on recurring revenues.

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End of inadmissibility or posture of negotiation?

As of April 5, Canal +, which broadcasts the most beautiful posters in Ligue 1, three games each week – Friday, Sunday evening, and Saturday at 5.30 p.m. – was supposed to pay the Football League 95 million euros excluding tax, an amount that does not include VAT. “We do not understand this position of Canal + which does not even want to pay for what was delivered”, we are offended within the League, which asked for a meeting with Canal + to have further explanations.

Since the start of the championship, the twenty football clubs in the League have already played 28 of the 38 days of the championship, “73.6% of the product”, one argues to the League. Until then, Canal + has paid 67% of its annual bill, or 375 million out of 558 million euros. Of this amount, the Canal subsidiary still owes 6.5% of the total, or 35 million euros, to be up to date with its invoices.

Read also Football: how to decide the final classification of Ligue 1 if it should stop here?

Within the League, we hope that the Canal + letter is not an end of inadmissibility, but rather a negotiating stance. Contacted by The world, the group, whose first shareholder is Vincent Bolloré, does not comment.

And BeIn has not yet responded to the League

The Football League also asked BeIn Sports if it intends to meet the April deadline. The Qatari broadcaster is expected to pay the LFP a total of 35 million euros, and owes 12.5 million euros net of tax, for meetings already broadcast. For the moment, the pay television service dedicated to sport has not yet responded to the LFP.

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