The Professional Football League has decided to end the contract which bound it until 2024 with its major broadcaster Mediapro (via its Téléfoot channel), after two months of conflict over the television rights of the French championship, we have learned Friday, December 11 from a source with access to the file.
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The output of the failing Sino-Spanish broadcaster has yet to be validated by the Nanterre commercial court, the same source said, indicating that the LFP should recover its broadcasting rights by December 21. A board of directors of the LFP was held Friday morning to study the issue. Contacted by AFP, Mediapro declined to comment.
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The Sino-Spanish group, holder of 80% of the rights to the French football championships (Ligue 1 and Ligue 2) for a record sum of more than 800 million euros per year and a newcomer to the French market, was in negotiations since October 19 with the LFP via a procedure with the commercial court of Nanterre.
Citing the Covid-19 health crisis which would have reduced the real value of the championship, he had indicated that he wanted to renegotiate the contract for this 2020-2021 season, initially asking for a discount while refusing to pay the contract due in October and December , totaling approximately € 325 million.
Canal + to the rescue?
In a conciliation that has accelerated in recent days through the intermediary of the judicial representative Marc Sénéchal, the scenarios for ending the crisis have gradually come down to a withdrawal of Mediapro, allowing the League to recover its rights televised for resale.
All eyes will now turn to Canal +, the historic broadcaster of the French championship which remains discreet on the file and has already indicated via its boss Maxime Saada that he would not reinvest ” at a loss In football.
This raises fears of a discount of several hundred million euros per year, compared to the historic contract negotiated during the call for tenders in 2018, in the amount of 1.217 billion euros for Ligue 1 and the League. 2, including more than 800 for Mediapro. A sharp drop that may be difficult to cash for many clubs, already weakened by the health crisis and empty stadiums, and whose budgets depend largely on TV rights paid by the League.