After the announcement of the imminent end of Téléfoot, the questions which arise for the subscribers are numerous.
FRANCK FIFE / AFP
We learned on Friday morning that the LFP and Mediapro had agreed to end their contract soon.
What will happen now for the employees of the chain?
And what about TV rights?
And the billion went up in smoke.
So proud to have sold the TV rights to Ligue 1 for a record amount in 2018, the LFP is now naked.
Mediapro, which had won the vast majority of prizes for the astronomical sum of 830 million per year for the period 2020-2024, can no longer meet its commitments, only five months after the start of its contract.
The French Professional Football League ended it on Friday, endorsing the fiasco.
"This is the story of a producer who wanted to be bigger than an ox, who tried a shot and who missed it, leaving behind a field of ruins", summed up Cédric in a press release. Roussel, president of the study group on the economy of sport at the National Assembly.
The deputy LREM deplores the “thug attitude” of Mediapro.
And it is not the sum of 100 million euros promised by his boss Jaume Roures to the LFP as compensation (on a slate of 325 million) that will be enough to make up for it.
The consequences promise to be catastrophic.
For the employees of the Téléfoot channel, already, who had embarked on the adventure, and for French football as a whole.
What will happen to the journalists?
For the Téléfoot channel
Employees of the channel, a showcase put together from scratch by Mediapro to broadcast matches and showcase the Ligue 1 product, learned the news on Friday morning during a videoconference.
"Julien Bergeaud [the general manager] told us, very moved and even on the verge of tears that it was over," a journalist told AFP.
The blow is monumental.
“We had been prepared for several days now, adds another employee, contacted by
We are obviously angry and sad.
But we are proud of what we did for five months.
With a young editorial staff, we were incredible.
The leaders of the channel asked everyone to stay mobilized until its final shutdown, the date of which is not yet known.
Téléfoot should broadcast well on the 14th day, this weekend, but nothing is certain for the following one, even if the parent company is committed to ensuring the continuity of the service until the arrival of a new broadcaster, by January 31 at the latest.
But an agreement will undoubtedly be reached long before.
The LFP must recover its broadcasting rights by December 21.
"The LFP has every interest in ousting Mediapro as quickly as possible," observes Jean-Pascal Gayant, sports economist at the University of Le Mans.
Any additional day broadcast by Mediapro is money wasted.
For the group's employees, salaries should be guaranteed until the end of December or the end of January.
Then everyone will bounce as best they can.
"We will talk about it in thirty years as the biggest fiasco in the history of French television and football," presumes, bitterly, the journalist contacted by AFP.
The Téléfoot channel should soon stop broadcasting.
- BERTRAND GUAY / AFP
What will become of TV rights?
Mediapro definitely out of the game - it will still be necessary to know exactly under what conditions - the LFP will recover its broadcasting rights.
Who will take over?
All eyes are on Canal +, of course.
"It is the only player who can position itself because it has the immediate capacity to do so and knows the market," explains Jean-Pascal Gayant.
Jean-Michel Aulas would try well to bring other actors in the game, because it is a way to raise the stakes a little, but I do not think that there are many people to position themselves given the current mess.
For me, the only question is whether Canal will go alone or with beIN Sports.
The two groups have indeed come together since the arrival of Mediapro.
Canal had thus bought two L1 posters from the Qatari channel for 330 million euros.
Today, we are talking about a sum of between 650 and 700 million to recover all rights.
“An agreement is quite likely, because there is still a lot of money to be released for Canal, which is interested in broadcasting the 10 games, observes Gayant.
We can imagine that the chain will want to keep the main posters, and beIN will rather be in complementarity.
»For example by picking up the Sunday multiplex at 3pm.
If, as expected, it is Canal + which is found at the center of the game, it will be necessary to see for what duration.
Initially, Mediapro had acquired the rights for the period 2020-2024.
The encrypted channel and the LFP will they negotiate for the same?
“Everything is called into question.
We start from zero.
Canal would have every interest in signing until 2024 with this sum of 650-700 million, while the LFP would have an interest in finding an agreement until the end of this season, and then relaunching a new tender. », Explains Gayant.
This is a point that promises bitter discussions.
“But the LFP is not in a strong position,” concludes the economist.
What recourse for the hundreds of thousands of subscribers?
We do not know exactly how many there are - the channel spoke of 600,000, L'Equipe for its part evoked a figure around 400,000 - but what is certain is that the customer service lines, as well that of Téléfoot than those of the internet service providers who marketed the channel - are likely to heat up in the days to come.
“They had better prepare well! Exclaims Raphaël Bartlomé, head of the legal department of the consumer defense association UFC-Que Choisir.
Because we are potentially talking about several hundred thousand complaints… ”.
The Téléfoot subscription formulas being multiple, on different media (mobiles, tablets, TV) and via different operators (Orange, Free, Bouygues and SFR), and the future of the channel is still on hold, one might think that subscribers are going to have to prepare for an obstacle course to cancel their subscription, but it seems not.
“Whether we pay Téléfoot monthly or annually and directly to the channel or via ISPs [internet service providers], consumers are now perfectly entitled to block payments, says Raphaël Bartlomé.
When it is obvious that the professional will not be able to carry out their engagement, well you don't have to carry out yours anymore, it is that simple.
We go to his personal space and end the subscription, period ”.
The only problem, if you had subscribed to Téléfoot via your internet access provider and through a package including a certain number of other channels, "there it is a waste of time", breathes this head of UFC-Que To choose.
And after ?
Your subscribers who have opted for the RMC + TELEFOOT offer at 25th (with commitment therefore), how is it going?
I pay for rmc AND telefoot ... from the moment the contract changes, it lapses right?
So commitment or not I can cancel no?
- LuiS'Antonio (@LuiSAntonioTony) December 11, 2020
Can the channel require its customers to continue paying if it still broadcasts football-related content (reports, old matches, other championships)?
"Indeed, Téléfoot can tell you 'yes but there is still the Belgian League, the Canadian League" ... The problem is that, if we resume since last August, Téléfoot's promotional advertisements promised 80% of Ligue 1 matches , including the ten best matches of the season, as well as most of Ligue 2. It was even written in the general conditions.
So if we tell you "you can't stop paying because there is still a ball on our channel moving on a football field", we sweep it all away, that's wrong, assures the voice of consumers.
What was decisive for each customer when they took out a Téléfoot subscription?
This is the French championship of L1 and L2.
It was the call product.
But it is on the way to disappear.
And if the definition of the service provided in the subscription contracts is vague ("The subscriber recognizes that the programs and the tv channels are mainly devoted to football") and could allow, on paper at least, the Téléfoot channel to contesting the defaults of its customers, seeing its loss leader disappear as if by disenchantment should encourage it not to engage in long legal proceedings against these thousands of subscribers.
But these considerations are not for now.
Indeed, according to RMC, Mediapro and Téléfoot could continue to broadcast the matches until the end of January 2021, while the LFP negotiates the sale of TV rights with the future buyers.
TV rights: Game over for Mediapro, the Telefoot channel will stop