Canal + is in a strong position regarding the TV rights of Ligue 1 after the announcement of Mediapro's refusal to pay (photo illustration).


John Potts / ProSports / REX / Shutterstock / SIPA

Canal + is in a strong position and it knows it.

Maxime Saada, boss of the encrypted channel, said this Friday in an interview with

Les Echos


that there was "no question" of putting his channel "in the red by reinvesting at a loss in football".

In other words, if Canal must "save" French football by recovering TV rights for Ligue 1 (and Ligue 2) after the Mediapro group refuses to pay what it owes, this will be done on its terms.

It is not a surprise.

“There is always someone who thinks that he will be able to make better use of the rights than us by paying more than Canal.

As you know and I spoke on the subject the day after the call for tenders, I have always thought that the economic equation was untenable given the price paid for the rights ”, recalled Maxime Saada in This interview

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).

"It's stupor and tremors here" ... What future for the Téléfoot channel?

via @ 20minutesSport

- 20 Minutes Sport (@ 20minutesSport) October 23, 2020

What Canal + is following closely ... while looking detached.

“The arrival of Téléfoot (the Mediapro channel) hardly caused us to lose any subscribers during this fall.

We are even recording, for the first time in a long time, a growth in our subscriber base in France ”, assured the leader of the channel.

More worried about the L1 than for his channel

The boss of Canal says, however, "very worried" for French football in the face of a situation that risks "damaging the image, the quality, and ultimately the value of Ligue 1".

But it is not at all for his channel.

“The Champions League will come back to us next season with, for the first time, the two best posters of each day.

It will complete a rich sports offer (…) This strategy is working and there is no question of plunging Canal + into the red by reinvesting at a loss in football, ”he concluded.


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Mediapro: How could French football have failed at this point?

  • League 1

  • Soccer

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  • Canal Plus

  • TV rights

  • Mediapro