International France geo-blocked for Twitter users... in France. Since the beginning of the tournament, the official account of Roland-Garros shares throughout the day hundreds of extracts of the competition as is customary on the part of the organizers.
To see GIFs, post-match interviews, or the players' entry on the course, no problem. But when it comes to having access to footage taken during matches, endgame for users located in France: "This video is not available in your region".
"I'm 18km from the stadium and I can't even see the video"
Enough to exasperate French viewers, who argue in the first place that some of the blocked videos are nevertheless broadcast on France Télévisions and therefore accessible for free.
"I'm 18 km from the stadium and I can't even see the video," one user complained. "It's happening in France on France 2 and you can see the images everywhere... except in France," said another about a one-point video of world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz during his first-round match on Monday.
However, this case is far from unique. Similar examples can be seen in other major sports competitions, such as the Premier League in England, for which videos relayed by the BBC are often blocked in France for example.
During the Olympic Games, the same is true: the broadcaster who has the rights in a country has the obligation to geoblock the videos it broadcasts on its social networks and its site, and to restrict the broadcast only to its own territory.
The broadcasting rights at issue
In the case of Roland-Garros, this blocking on French territory is explained by the acquisition of broadcasting rights by television channels, which are only valid for their country. In France, two broadcasters obtained exclusive rights by commercial agreement with the French Tennis Federation (FFT), organizer of the tournament: France Télévisions and Amazon Prime Video.
The first broadcasts the very large part of the competitions free of charge throughout the day, and the second has the exclusivity of the matches on the Simonne-Mathieu court as well as the "night session", the evening match on the center court, during which the Frenchman Gaël Monfils won after more than three hours of play Tuesday night.
The FFT kicks in touch
Contracts signed as part of the retransmission generally also apply to social networks. This is probably why the videos exist on the tournament account, but are blocked for Twitter users in France, where they are exclusively broadcast by France Televisions and Amazon Prime Video accounts. Contacted by Le Parisien to confirm the reason for this geoblocking, the FFT replied that it would not express itself on the subject.
In the same way as the videos of the official Twitter account of Roland-Garros, the videos published by the international account of Eurosport are blocked in France, because the group has the rights to broadcast on the entire European continent, with the exception of the France. The French account of the sports channel is therefore content to relay visuals and links with appeal to the competition, without video sequence.