Mediapro case: Will Canal + fly to the rescue of the Football League?

Discussions are accelerating between the Professional Football League (LFP) and the historic broadcaster Canal +, according to information from RMC Sport. The two parties have been exchanging for several days in order to consider a partial or total recovery of football rights, owned by Mediapro.

After the Spanish group has placed itself under the protection of the Commercial Court of Nanterre, Marc Sénéchal, the legal representative appointed as conciliator in the case, must submit to the President of the Court an interim report on the situation in early December.

But without waiting for further developments, the LFP, which has already had to compensate for the non-payment by Mediapro of the October 5 deadline (172 million euros), is working actively to ensure that the December 5 deadline is honored.

Canal + could thus fly to the aid of French football, if Mediapro is willing to cede some of its rights to it.

Mediapro could sub-license a lot to Canal +

“If an agreement were to be reached by the December deadline, it could only be an agreement directly between Canal + and Mediapro, not between Canal + and the LFP,” specifies Christophe Lepetit, of the Center for Economy and sports law (CDES) of Limoges. At this stage of the procedure, the LFP has in fact not recovered its rights and can therefore in no way enter into an agreement with Canal +. What is possible, however, is that Mediapro sub-licenses a lot to Canal +, for example the Sunday evening match. This provision was provided for in the 2018 call for tenders. “

If such a hypothesis were true, it would ultimately mean for the Spanish group the pure and simple disappearance of the landscape of French football. “If Mediapro drops one of its main lots, its offer will be degraded to the point that its model will no longer hold up,” Lepetit projects himself. This would therefore seal the withdrawal of Mediapro. The League would recover its rights and reorganize a call for tenders with traditional players. In which case, French football would no longer count on 1.2 billion annually but more likely on 800 or 900 million euros … “

For their part, some French club presidents openly manifest their desire to find an agreement with Canal +, even if the amounts are lower than those promised by Mediapro – 780 million euros for Ligue 1 and 34 million euros for the League 2.

This Tuesday evening, in Top of the Foot on RMC, Waldemar Kita (Nantes) and Jean-Pierre Caillot (Reims) called for a return of the Canal. “I think and I hope they will be with us,” said the Nantes president.

At the end of October, Maxime Saada, the boss of Canal +, had explained in the echoes that he did not intend to “reinvest at a loss in French football”. However, the channel has never hidden its regrets for losing Sunday night’s game and could make this poster a priority in the negotiations.

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