TV rights: Canal + requires a call for tenders, pressure on French football

C’is a real thunderclap. Canal +, favorite to take over the TV rights of the French football championships, put pressure on the Professional Football League (LFP) on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 by asking for the organization of a new call for tenders for all Ligue 1 matches.

Believing that “Ligue 1 has lost a lot of value” with the Covid-19 crisis and the withdrawal of the major broadcaster Mediapro, his boss Maxime Saada announced in an interview with Figaro, that the encrypted channel was going to return to the LFP its share of matches, wishing to see all the matches put back on sale via a new call for tenders. “We finally came to the conclusion on the Canal + side that it was in the interest of all stakeholders to go through a call for tenders,” Maxime Saada said on a daily basis, while according to several sources from Agence France -Press close to the case, the League favored a reallocation via a sandstone agreement between the two parties.

Maxime Saada recognizes that “Canal + takes the risk of finding itself faced with a competitor ready to overpay these rights”. “In 2018, I did not see Mediapro arrive. The emergence of new players is a risk that we accept, because there is no other alternative than the call for tenders, ”he maintains. The chairman of the channel’s executive board also deplores “a loss of trust between Canal + and those responsible for French football”. “We haven’t been treated properly in recent years,” he says.

Canal + refuses to “reinvest at a loss in football”

Canal + currently broadcasts 20% of Ligue 1 matches, via a sub-license signed with beIN Sports for an annual amount of 330 million euros. The remaining 80% are still broadcast on Téléfoot, the channel of the Sino-Spanish group Mediapro, even though the latter negotiated its withdrawal with the League in December. Initially, the contract for the broadcasting of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 for the 2020-2024 cycle had broken records, reaching the annual amount of 1.217 billion euros, of which more than 800 for the newcomer Mediapro group alone. on the French market.

READ ALSOTéléfoot: how to cancel your subscription and where to see Ligue 1 in 2021?

But since September, Mediapro wanted to renegotiate its contract downwards and ended up agreeing to withdraw from the market in return for compensation of 100 million euros. Canal + has always insisted, since the 2018 call for tenders, that Ligue 1 had been overestimated by Mediapro. In October, Maxime Saada had already indicated that the channel would refuse to “reinvest at a loss in football”.

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