After the withdrawal of Mediapro, which had acquired the TV rights to eight Ligue 1 matches per day until 2024, the Professional Football League (LFP) was waiting to reach an agreement with Canal +.
But the encrypted channel will not negotiate over-the-counter with the LFP.
On the contrary.
Maxime Saada, chairman of the group's executive board, told Le Figaro that he had sent a letter to the League to ... return lot n ° 3, recovered under license from beIN Sport and paid until February 5 (2 matches per day ).
“We came to the conclusion that it was in the interest of all stakeholders to go through a call for tenders,” he explains.
[…] In addition, any mutual agreement for the takeover of Mediapro lots would be legally contestable from a competitive point of view because it would be contrary to the sports code.
Saada highlights "a loss of confidence between Canal + and those in charge of French football" and complains about the treatment reserved for its branches in recent years, in particular the postponements of matches without consultation during the movements of yellow vests or the requested financial extension. to delay the kick-off of the Sunday evening match by fifteen minutes.
"Mediapro has demonstrated that the L1 was not worth 1.156 billion"
He also points out, and above all, a product whose price he considers too high.
“Mediapro has shown that the L1 is not worth 1.156 billion euros.
But how much is it worth?
he asks himself.
[…] There is only one way to materialize in an objective and transparent manner the market value of Ligue 1, and that is the call for tenders.
For him, “the L1 product has been degraded” by confidential distribution on Mediapro and by the rearrangement of the Canal + program schedule, which has become more varied and less dependent on the hexagonal footballing elite.
Not to mention a general lack of attractiveness, except for large posters.
PODCAST. TV rights of French football: story of the Mediapro fiasco
TV rights of French football: story of the Mediapro fiasco
"Canal + takes the risk of being faced with a competitor ready to overpay these rights," adds Maxime Saada.
I admit that in 2018 I did not see Mediapro arrive.
The emergence of new players is a risk that we accept because there are no other alternatives than the call for tenders.
“Canal + still seems to be in a strong position.
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The channel will in any case ask for the stopping of broadcasting by Mediapro, which continues to offer the matches without having paid for them.
And offer the LFP a transitional fee-for-service solution where Canal + would pay it back most of the revenue.