Paris (AFP)

"No question" of putting Canal + "in the red by reinvesting at a loss in football," Maxime Saada, boss of the encrypted channel, told Les Echos newspaper, which appears in ambush in the conflict between Ligue 1 and Mediapro, broadcaster bad payer.

"The arrival of Téléfoot (the Mediapro channel) hardly caused us to lose subscribers during this fall. We even recorded, for the first time in a long time, an increase in our subscriber base in France", evacuated Mr. Saada in an interview with the economic daily, indicating to have "reinvested a large part of the sums initially devoted to the call for tenders Ligue 1" initially lost, in particular by buying back a batch of matches to beIN Sports.

In 2018, Mediapro was awarded 80% of the rights to Ligue 1 for 780 million euros per year, greatly contributing to reaching a record level for TV rights for French football, which then exceeded one billion euros annually.

But the Sino-Spanish group wants to review the terms of this season's contract and has not honored its last payment in October, initiating conciliation proceedings with the League (LFP).

What Canal + is following closely.

"There is always someone who thinks that he will be able to make better use of the rights than we do by paying more than Canal (...) I have always thought that the economic equation was untenable given the price paid for rights, "said Maxime Saada.

The boss of Canal, "very worried" for French football in the face of a situation which risks "damaging the image, the quality, and ultimately the value of Ligue 1", is much less so for his channel.

"The Champions League will come back to us next season with, for the first time, the two most beautiful posters of each day. It will complete a rich sport offer (...) This strategy works and there is no question of to plunge Canal + into the red by reinvesting at a loss in football ", he concluded.

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