Tuesday, September 21

Mediapro and the French Football League break their contract

The Roures chain demanded to renegotiate the amount set in August (only below the Premier) as a result of the fall in income due to the pandemic

Canal + could take down the rights while the clubs remain in a very delicate situation

After several months of dispute, Mediapro and the French football league (LFP) They broke their French football broadcasting contract this Friday. The group chaired by Jaume roures will pay 100 million euros to the LFP for the matches already broadcast and as compensation, and it will continue broadcasting the French league until it finds a new telemarketer, which in all probability will be Channel +. In any case, the French league and its clubs are in a very delicate situation.

Mediapro demanded from LFP a renegotiation of the contract wielding the drop in income that the coronavirus pandemic had caused. With this argument, the Spanish company stopped paying two installments: one of 172.3 million on October 5 and another of 152.5 million on December 5.

An almost record-breaking contract

The initial agreement signed in August was for more than 800 million euros per year for 80% of the broadcasting rights of the league for three years, which made the French championship the second most sought after in Europe, only behind the Premier League. Mediapro was always confident in its bet, despite the fact that to many it seemed exaggerated for a championship that until now, beyond the PSG of Neymar and Mbappé, had not piqued the interest of others like English, Spanish, Italian or even German.

Roures’ company argues that many things have changed as a result of the pandemic. The clubs they have invested less in signings, so the interest they arouse is less than expected, and with bars and restaurants closed due to the virus, a large part of the income disappears. In summary, of the 800 million agreed, Mediapro had only paid 173 million in an initial payment so far, to which it will now add another 100, with which it ends its French adventure. According to ‘L’Équipe’, Mediapro will pay 64 million as soon as justice validates the agreement and another 36 in the first half of 2021.

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Dead end

The agreement allows the LFP to search for a new operator, although the outlook remains bleak. The clubs have also suffered the decrease in income (tickets, merchandising, etc.), but running out of the income from television rights is the lunge. Channel +, which had historically broadcast French football matches, could come out on top, although with a figures much lower than current. Some media have considered an offer of 600 million annually that some clubs, threatened to go to the bankruptcy, they would have no choice but to accept, but it is also possible that the French chain will take advantage of its position of strength to lower that figure even further.


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