The operation to rescue the broadcasting of French football failed: no broadcaster made a sufficient offer on Monday for the resumption of Ligue 1 TV rights - until then held by the Médiapro group and its channel in bankruptcy, Téléfoot -, Canal + and beIN Sports even choosing to boycott the call for tenders.

The crisis lasts, even if unexpected actors knock on the door.

After an interminable day of deliberations at the Parisian headquarters of the LFP, the verdict is in, relentless and cruel.

Despite offers from Amazon, the DAZN platform and Discovery, parent company of Eurosport, the minimum prices set by the League, "reserve", were "not reached" and the procedure was "declared unsuccessful. "according to the instance, which will take" 48 hours to define the next steps in the marketing of its rights ".

Through an emergency market consultation launched on January 19, the LFP hoped to reallocate most of the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches abandoned by the failing broadcaster Mediapro (80% of matches), which had negotiated its withdrawal from the market in December after being unable to settle its deadlines in the fall.

Several envelopes were certainly deposited in the morning, but none was deemed sufficiently convincing - both qualitatively and quantitatively - by the steering committee meeting in the afternoon, composed in particular of Jean-Michel Aulas and Jacques-Henri Eyraud , the presidents of Lyon and Marseille.

Who to broadcast OM-PSG on Sunday?

"The situation is interesting," said Aulas, wanting to be positive, and suggesting that the offers, at the amounts kept secret, could give hope for possible promising OTC negotiations with potential buyers in the coming days.

"End of the match", launched, more categorically, Philippe Piat, the co-president of the UNFP players' union.

Each day that passes from now on will be worth dear for the clubs, which already anticipate losses of 1.3 billion euros at the end of the season, between pandemic and crisis of television rights.

In the very short term, it will be necessary to urgently decide on the methods of broadcasting the championship day scheduled for next weekend and marked by the "Classic" of Ligue 1, between Marseille and Paris SG, Sunday February 7 at 9 p.m. .

Téléfoot, the Mediapro channel which continues to broadcast at least until Wednesday, February 3 and seems ready to play extra time, will it be an option?

In any case, the hope of seeing this big poster pay off big for French football seems slim.

The M6 ​​group also took the opportunity to offer its services again "so as not to deprive the public of the match", according to its boss Nicolas de Tavernost on Twitter.

Canal + in conflict

Another major cause for concern, the defiant strategy of Canal + and beIN Sports, who declined to comment.

The two main broadcasters of French football in recent years have not made an offer according to several sources familiar with the matter, almost acting the worst case scenario for the leaders of pro football.

The encrypted channel, which broadcasts the remaining 20% ​​of Ligue 1 against 330 million euros annually, disputes the terms of the procedure launched by the LFP, with the Paris commercial court and the Competition Authority.

And the Qatari group, whose boss Nasser Al-Khelaïfi is also that of Paris SG, seems to have chosen the same camp as the Vivendi group.

Even for the most affordable Ligue 2, which it already broadcasts in part, beIN has not advanced its pawns.

The horizon is therefore totally clouded for the clubs, who have clearly drawn a line on the sum of 1.217 billion euros initially promised after the call for tenders of 2018, L1 and L2 combined.

Worse, they now risk facing possible new payment interruptions: Canal + has indeed indicated that it wanted to return its share of meetings (bought from beIN Sports via a sub-license agreement), estimating its value "overvalued" in the context of the 2018 call for tenders. However, a payment from the encrypted channel is expected on Friday ...

The only relief for the sector?

It has at least attracted candidates, including the editorial director of the Téléfoot channel, Jean-Michel Roussier, candidate in his own name according to a source close to the file confirming information from L'Équipe.

Enough to say that the L1 still pleases?

Maybe, but not at any amount ...

With AFP

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