A risk of a black screen on Ligue 1

A risk of a black screen on Ligue 1

With just a month to go before the French championship resumes, nothing has yet been decided regarding the TV broadcaster for Ligue 1.

President of the Ligue 1 college which met on Saturday to take stock with the Professional Football League regarding TV rights for the period 2024-2029, Jean-Pierre Caillot readily admits: ” The situation is obviously worrying. » The French championship resumes in five weeks and more than ever, the risk of a black screen really exists
if no agreement is reached by then
.

However, the boss of the Reims club refuses to rush into repeating the mistakes of the past. From experience, we must not, despite everything, make decisions in haste. That is why we had a college on Saturday, which was quite positive. Now, all the presidents have the same level of information. And we will meet on Thursday to see how this evolves. Because not everything is finished in the negotiations. »

BeIN still hoped for

At this stage, three options are on the table according to Jean-Pierre Caillot: the DAZN proposal, i.e. 375 million euros per year for eight matches out of nine. This would perhaps allow us to get around 500 million. It is not the 700 million expected, but it would still be possible. “, the Champagne president whispers to L’Equipe, while admitting that this offer ” is far from unanimous ».
« The DAZN option is not worse than anything else, but in terms of guarantees, it is too reminiscent of what may have happened in the past.. » Namely the Mediapro shipwreck.

« Option 2 is the 100% L1 channel with Warner Bros Discovery. But integrating a channel does not happen in 24 hours. (…) It’s a good product. But in the current scheme, there is no fixed. The clubs have cash flow problems and they need a fixed. With the channel, it will take a little time for it to bring in resources “, continues Jean-Pierre Caillot. As for option 3, it was ” presented to the board of directors (last Friday), and may perhaps succeed. “It would seem to be beIN Sports, which has however still not officially positioned itself.” Hope keeps us alive. From what I know, beIN is interested in the product. But until today, this has not translated into a concrete offer. It’s a bit of a war of nerves. »

A model to review

Jean-Pierre Caillot admits that timing is tight now. There is a bit of an ultimatum because it takes time to get it started. But if we have to resume the season without a channel, for one or two days, we will cope. People will go to the stadium to watch the matches. And we will be patient. I think it is a mistake to start something in a hurry. “A figure of the elite, the person concerned clearly has a grudge against the historic partner that is Canal+.” There is a major operator in France in terms of distribution that is clearly attacking football. And thinks that Ligue 1 is a product that does not interest its subscribers. Which is a mistake in my opinion, even if it is just my opinion. If there is no more Ligue 1, I will do like many of my friends, I will unsubscribe… »

And Jean-Pierre Caillot, beyond the problem of TV rights, concludes, worried: ” For years, TV rights meant that football lived in a somewhat opulent environment.
(…) We no longer have the means. And there are many things that need to be questioned. At all positions, without exception. VAR costs a lot of money. Should we continue it? We give significant sums to many other families (players, coaches, unions, etc.). We are always criticized, but we pay a lot of contributions. At some point, everyone has to tighten their belts. It is not just the clubs and presidents who will take responsibility. Clubs with traditional capital no longer have the means to support all this. We also have an agreement with the Federation (14.2 million euros minimum on TV rights, editor’s note). Perhaps we need to discuss this again. What was planned with a certain budget cannot be the same today. I react as a business leader. From the moment you are in crisis or could be in crisis, you have to question what was done in the past. »

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