Surprise for the employees of L'Équipe.
One week before the resumption of the French Football Championship, which restarts on Friday, August 6, the teams of the newspaper and the TNT channel see the competitors of Prime Video Ligue 1, Amazon's new platform, s '' install one after the other in their premises, in Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts-de-Seine).
These are the journalists recruited this summer to comment on the eight L1 games and eight L2 games that the American e-commerce giant will offer every weekend until 2024.
But why the devil do Amazon consultants take up residence at L'Équipe? According to our information, this is an original decision by Amazon: instead of directly paying journalists from its antenna, as Canal +, beIN Sports, RMC Sport or Mediapro do, Amazon has decided to outsource technical and editorial production. of his magazines like commentaries on his matches. An agreement with RMC was initially considered. But it was ultimately L'Équipe that was chosen as a subcontractor.
For the occasion, the sports daily has just created a production subsidiary, called 21 Production, whose recruits will work only for Amazon.
Using production companies is very common in the audiovisual industry.
Widespread in the entertainment sector, the practice is rarer in the information sector.
“Quotidien” and “C à vous” are not produced directly by TMC and France 5, but respectively by the companies Bangumi (Laurent Bon and Yann Barthès) and Troisième Œil (Pierre-Antoine Capton).
However, this is unprecedented for the coverage of sporting events.
"We were assured that there would be no link between L'Équipe and Amazon"
“Employees are recruited by people from Amazon and fully dedicated to Amazon. The Team is only a kind of service provider, at the administrative level, ”explains one of the future faces of the branch, who does not yet know exactly where his office will be located. “Even if the Team also broadcasts two Ligue 2 matches, we were assured that there would be no link between the Team and Amazon,” said another. Both Amazon management and Team management declined our requests for explanations.
Will this approach worry French football still in shock from the Mediapro fiasco, which for lack of cash closed its doors last December after only 4 months of existence? The football world is relatively confident. There is little chance that Amazon will find itself in default of payment, to the point of not being able to pay the 250 million euros annually promised to the League. On the other hand, does it show its reluctance to recruit in its own name in the long term in a sector where the rights change owner every 4 years? A connoisseur of the sector reassures: this decision was taken due to lack of time. Amazon acquired the rights to Ligue 1 in mid-June. Impossible within these deadlines to set up an editorial office and to create studios. We had to find an ally.