Will pay, won’t pay? For a few weeks now, doubts have been hanging over Mediapro’s ability to regulate French football TV rights. But this Thursday, the Sino-Spanish audiovisual group silenced the rumors since it made the first payment of the “mega contract” which engages it with the Professional Football League (LFP). Mediapro – or rather Téléfoot, its channel – will thus be able to offer most of French football, while Canal +, the historic broadcaster of Ligue 1, will reserve some prestigious confrontations.
Read also Téléfoot whistles the start of its meeting with viewers
The biggest check ever cashed by the LFP
1.250 billion euros per year, or 5 billion at the end of the four-year contract: this is the astronomical amount that French professional football will receive each year from the 2020-2021 season, against 728 million previously – a significant increase by 60%! Main rights holder, Téléfoot, the new channel launched by Mediapro in France, will broadcast 80% of Ligue 1 matches, including 10 big shocks of the season and 80% of Ligue 2 matches. The remaining 20% goes to Canal +, which will feature 28 of the best posters.
If a doubt remained until then on the ability of Mediapro to pay such a sum of money, the first payment of the biggest contract in French football was finally made on Thursday. The audiovisual group made a deposit of 143 million euros excluding tax, that is to say 172 million including tax. The addition is completed by payments from Canal + (56.4 million HT), beIN Sport (7.5 million) and Free (7.1 million). In total, more than 256 million euros will irrigate French football as well as state coffers. The money will be redistributed to Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs by August 15. On the eve of elections for the presidency of the LFP, which promises to be eventful, Didier Quillot – current executive director general of the body – has won his bet by signing an undeniable success and silences doubts about the solvency of the group Sino-Spanish Mediapro.
Read also our dossier The crisis in French football
“I have always had confidence in Médiapro, despite the doubts that hovered around their ability to pay,” says Jean-Pierre Caillot, president of the Stade de Reims. “Didier Quillot and his teams did a very good job and had the merit of innovating by finding a broadcaster like this one. At a time when the LFP is clearly under attack, it is a success for the League ”. A victory also for the finances of the club – European next season -, since the leaders of Reims had already estimated the income coming from the League: “From now on, we have the certainty of being able to send our invoices in on time, ”says Jean-Pierre Caillot. But, the president of the stadium of Reims relativizes on this “non-event”. “In commercial relations, it is quite normal for a broadcaster to honor its commitment on time. In the end, it is only an honored deadline ”.
Téléfoot, the new benchmark channel
On Monday August 17, a few days before the resumption of the championship, a new 100% football channel will therefore make its debut in French homes. Her name ? Téléfoot, named after the legendary show broadcast on TF1 since 1977. The weekends will begin on Friday evening with the first Ligue 1 meeting scheduled for 9 pm, preceded by a launch magazine. On Saturdays, subscribers will be able to combine the poster at 5 p.m. and the Ligue 2 multiplex at 7 p.m. Finally, Sunday will be the busiest day. Téléfoot will kick off the day with an opening magazine. A match will be offered at 1 p.m., before the 3 p.m. multiplex. Then, the new sports channel will offer a Sunday evening meeting from 7 p.m., presented by Anne-Laure Bonnet, who will look back on the nine matches already played and will lead the viewer to the last poster of the weekend, including the 10 matches. the most anticipated. Gondola heads of the chain, Grégoire Margotton and Bixente Lizarazu will comment on these posters. Finally, the evening will end with a debriefing magazine. Note also that Téléfoot has exclusive rights to weekday broadcasts, which would allow it to produce three daily meetings devoted to Ligue 1.
To learn more about Media: the Téléfoot channel in full transfer window
But Mediapro did not stop there. The Spanish group recently struck a blow by recovering the TV rights of the Champions League which belong to the SFR / RMC group until June 2021. This agreement concluded will allow the future channel to co-broadcast the entire competition at during the 2020-2021 season.
Canal + saved, beIN SPORTS well placed and RMC Sport threatened
Among the competitors, the results are mixed. Canal + has only recovered 76 matches of the Ligue 1 season, or only 2 per day. But to keep its subscribers in suspense, the encrypted channel has chosen to bet on top-of-the-table matches with 28 of the best Ligue 1 matches, to which is added the entire Premier League.
For its part, beIN SPORTS occupies an intermediate position. The Qatari channel recovers 20% of the rights to Ligue 2, but retains its European championships (Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga). Finally, for RMC Sport, the future is darkening. The Altice group channel, which broadcasts the Premier League in its entirety, has been granted the rights to the Champions League by Canal + and beIN SPORTS for the period 2021-2024. Without new championships or exclusivity, RMC Sport is irretrievably heading for ruin.