Paris (AFP)

Canal + has decided to take the Sino-Spanish group Mediapro to court "to put an end to the unequal treatment" of which it claims to be a victim concerning the conditions of distribution of the Téléfoot channel, the encrypted channel announced on Friday.

Launched at the end of August, the channel of the Mediapro group is the new main broadcaster of the French football championship and is notably available by subscription via telecom operators, on the internet and on Apple devices.

"Taking note of the conditions imposed on it by the Mediapro Group for the distribution of the Téléfoot channel, the Canal + Group is forced to refer the matter to the courts to put an end to the inequality of treatment to which it is subject and obtain conditions fair and non-discriminatory recovery, ”the statement said.

A first hearing is scheduled for September 24 at the Nanterre Commercial Court, the group told AFP.

Mediapro had won, to everyone's surprise, in May 2018, the main broadcasting rights for more than 80% of L1 and L2 matches over the period 2020-2024 for a record amount of more than 800 million euros annually.

The group had signed in quick succession a series of agreements since the end of July with the operators SFR, Bouygues Telecom, Free and Orange, as well as a partnership with Netflix, for Téléfoot.

According to Canal +, "the conditions precedent to any negotiation imposed by the Mediapro group" are similar "to impossible conditions, are unrealistic in the current market conditions and aim to exclude" the French group "from the distribution of the offer particularly Telefoot football attraction ".

In an interview with the site of the Team, the boss of Canal + Maxime Saada specified the origin of his wrath: Mediapro "asks us for a guaranteed number of subscribers, on which we should make a payment, which represents roughly one third of our total number of subscribers and which is three times the total volume of subscribers to the Canal + sport pack, "he explained.

"I fear that they are trying to make us pay the amounts that they might not have obtained from other" operators, "it is out of the question", added the president of the Canal + group, "absolutely convinced" that competition was not subject to the same requirements.

"Our only objective is to shed light on the conditions of the contracts and ensure that what is offered to us is discriminatory, because we are certain of it," he insisted.

Contacted by AFP, Mediapro declined to comment.

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