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Mediapro misses Ligue 1 rights payment as it seeks to renegotiate fee

Agency’s CEO says Covid-19 is impacting value of €780m a year broadcast deal.

8 October 2020 Tom Bassam

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  • Mediapro made first €172.3m rights payment back in August but has not paid 6th October instalment
  • LFP refused to grant a delay in rights fee payment
  • New Téléfoot network just weeks into first season as Ligue 1 and Ligue 2's main domestic broadcaster

Mediapro chief executive Jaume Roures has revealed that the rights agency is seeking to renegotiate its broadcast partnership with French soccer's Professional Football League (LFP).

Just months into its first season as the main domestic broadcaster for the top-flight Ligue 1 and second-tier Ligue 2, Mediapro is claiming the value of its deals is already being adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mediapro is paying €780 million (US$916.8 million) per season for its Ligue 1 contract and is also the lead partner alongside BeIN Sports in the €64 million (US$72.9 million) a year deal for Ligue 2 rights.

In August, Mediapro paid its first instalment of the season, worth €172.3 million (US$200.5 million), but Roures has now confirmed to L’Équipe that his company will not make its second payment, which was due on 5th October, and that it is looking to reduce its contribution.

“We have asked to speak about our contract this season because of Covid-19,” said Roures. “It is obvious that Covid is affecting a lot of aspects of our being able to exploit our rights. We want to talk about that.”

He added: “We want to renegotiate the contract for this season. It has been very affected by Covid-19, everyone knows because everyone is suffering through it. We are not questioning the project as it is. But the bars and restaurants are closed, advertising is down – these are things that everyone knows.”

 The LFP released a statement confirming that Mediapro requested a payment delay for its 5th October Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 rights fee instalment on 24th September but that was rejected by the league body.

The LFP said it working to ensure payment to its club by 17th October.

Roures did not suggest a more suitable fee but also pointed out that the LFP has asked the French government for compensation as a result of the losses caused by the pandemic.

Seeking to strike an amiable tone, Roures insisted Mediapro is not seeking to cancel its contract.

“The contract was established in conditions that are completely different to the current situation,” he added. “That is obvious. We need to speak about it. Aside from that, we will see how it ends up. We are not putting into question the contract, but we are putting into question the current situation.”

Mediapro is seeking to renegotiate its Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 broadcast partnerships

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