Mediapro having failed, the Professional Football League (LFP) has recovered the rights to the broadcaster’s matches (more than 800 million euros per year). Maxime Saada, Chairman of the Management Board of Canal Plus, announced this Wednesday at Figaro his decision to also return, on February 5, his two L1 matches per day (330 million), which beIN Sports had sub-licensed to him. He wants, contrary to the wishes of the LFP, a new call for tenders, posing the threat of a stronger reduction in television revenues for clubs. In the meantime, the channel offers the LFP to broadcast the matches in pay per view (fee-for-service). The agreement between Mediapro and the League stipulates that the Téléfoot channel will only broadcast until January 31 …
Expected like the savior by the clubs, Canal Plus refuses to negotiate by mutual agreement with the League. How do you analyze this strategy?
Jean-Francois Brocard There is both resentment and strategy. Canal Plus does not want to give the League a gift. The channel remembers being ousted in the last call for tenders by club presidents, who wanted the highest possible amount, forgetting the historic relationship of French football with Canal Plus, which valued the product very well. Today, Canal does not want to lose money when that is a bit what the clubs ask of it… Between IPTV (piracy) and Ligue 1 which is not the most attractive championship either. , the chain knows it is in a strong position. She wants the League to unravel its product to reposition itself on what interests it. It is risky if the League waits so as not to give in to the only actor who offers it something, that is to say Canal Plus. But it is unlikely that she will have the economic capacity to wait …
Maxime Saada says that “Ligue 1 has lost a lot of its value”. Is there a minimum amount below which Canal Plus cannot fall?
Jean-Francois Brocard Maxime Saada buys a product, so it is in his interest to say that it has lost its value. But the L1 has depreciated like all other championships behind closed doors. He announces in fact that the future amount of rights will perhaps not be at the level before Mediapro, that is to say 730 million (2016-2020), because he has always hammered that the L1 had been overvalued by Mediapro. But Canal Plus knows that if it gives French clubs just enough money to survive, they won’t be able to be good in the transfer market next year. This will make the product even less attractive for viewers… In L1, rights represent 70% of income for Nîmes, 62% Angers, 60% Reims and Lille and many clubs are above 50%. According to the DNCG, there would already be a cumulative deficit of about 1 billion for the clubs if we came back to 730 million euros. Below, their survival seems complicated.
Can the salary negotiations, which has been initiated, save the clubs?
Jean-Francois Brocard The amount of salaries and contributions of French clubs represents 54% of their income. If television rights drop to $ 730 million annually, they will represent 90% of revenues. The problem is to succeed in negotiating with players from other continents… Footballers have very high mobility and a short career. They don’t care about the sustainability of the club. It will be easier to negotiate with a local player, from the club, if he is then dangled for a post after his career in the organization chart.