The option was clearly ruled out by Vincent Bolloré’s group.
What will become of Téléfoot, the main broadcaster of Ligue 1? The scenario of an angel buyer seems very uncertain. Clearly, the possibility of a repechage by Canal +, in case the encrypted channel recovers the TV rights to the French football championship, will not be part of the options. Maxime Saada, the chairman of the management board of the Canal + group, affirms it bluntly in Le Figaro: “we will not resume Téléfoot“. The channel owned by Vincent Bolloré has no interest. It already has its own editorial staff, has significant production resources and in 2019 initiated a voluntary departure plan covering more than 500 positions in France.
Inaugurated at the end of August in premises in Aubervilliers, on the edge of the Paris ring road, Téléfoot is making great strides towards the black screen. The Mediapro channel still has 150 employees, including around sixty journalists. Since October, the Sino-Spanish group has stopped paying the Professional Football League (LFP) to broadcast league matches. At the end of December, the League was able to recover the TV rights held by Mediapro as well as a check for 100 million euros for the balance of any account, instead of the 324 million euros due. Mediapro, for its part, leaves the field without the threat of legal action. The Sino-Spanish group has nevertheless committed to continue the broadcasting of L1 matches until January 31, pending a reallocation of TV rights by the League.
Feeling of waste
If the award of the competition took longer, the channel would be ready to play extra time. “Téléfoot could continue to operate beyond January 31», Confides a source close to the file. But it would only be a matter of stepping back to better close. “In a world where all the media are changing and looking for content to attract customers, Téléfoot nevertheless retains a value, estimates this same source. This channel has the capacity to produce quality content and has subscribers. The greatest probability is certainly not the continuation of Téléfoot. Is it impossible for all that? No».
For several weeks, the journalists of Téléfoot, them, do not have any more illusions on the continuation. Interviewed in mid-December by AFP, one of them confided his dismay. “We have a terrible feeling of waste, we have swallowed snakes from the start, we had technical means not at all up to our ambitions and yet we managed to do something of quality, to hold a tub thanks to quality journalistsHe explained.