The Professional Football League will recover 80% of the rights to Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, which had been allocated for 800 million euros annually to Mediapro.
The justice validated Tuesday the agreement between the Professional Football League (LFP) and its broadcaster Mediapro, noting the withdrawal of the latter with a view to the reallocation of TV rights to the French championships, announced to AFP the broadcaster’s lawyer. “The judgment approves the memorandum of understanding“Between the LFP and the Catalan group with Chinese capital, specified the lawyer of Mediapro Guilhem Bremond, questioned by AFP.
With this decision, the commercial court of Nanterre allows the LFP to recover the rights of 80% of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, initially allocated for more than 800 million euros per year to Mediapro, which has not settled its deadlines since October. This final step puts an end to a conciliation procedure started more than two months ago, when Mediapro, a newcomer to the French market, indicated that it wanted to renegotiate its contract downwards.
It allows French football to turn the page after several catastrophic months: while he thought he had signed a record broadcasting agreement during the 2018 call for tenders (1.153 billion euros per year in all for Ligue 1 between 2020 and 2024), hope turned into a fiasco this fall, adding to the economic consequences of the pandemic and the ticket offices shut down due to a health lock-up.
Another more uncertain page now opens: the League will have to negotiate with new broadcasters for the reallocation of TV rights, probably through private agreements and without necessarily going through a new call for tenders, according to several sources with knowledge of the case. Canal + appears to be the favorite of this resumption of rights, with its ally, the specialized channel beIN Sports. But the encrypted channel did not let anything filter on its intentions, except on one point: it does not count “reinvest at a loss in football“.
While waiting for this recovery, “Mediapro, via its Téléfoot channel, will continue to broadcast Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches and programs, until these rights are reassigned to another broadcaster.“, Said the group in a press release confirming the agreement.
This change of broadcaster suggests a discount of several hundred million euros per year for clubs, even if other players than Canal + exist (Amazon, the DAZN streaming sports platform, etc.). In the meantime, the clubs will be able to share 64 million euros, an amount paid by Mediapro in compensation before its withdrawal. In addition, 36 million more must be paid in the first half of 2021. That is 100 million in all, far from some 325 million euros unpaid by the Catalan group since October.
The matches remain broadcast on Téléfoot, the Mediapro channel created only four months ago, as long as a new broadcaster is not found.