Mediapro partners with TF1 to unveil 'home of French soccer' Téléfoot
By Jonathan Rest
Mediapro France, an arm of the Spanish media rights and production agency, has teamed up with TF1, the French commercial broadcaster, to launch Téléfoot, the new home of domestic soccer.
Mediapro is entering France this summer on the back of its swoop worth more than €800 million ($892 million) per year for the main packages of rights to Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 for the next four seasons.
The partnership runs for the length of Mediapro's domestic rights deal and will be extended in the event Mediapro renews its agreement with the LFP, the French league, beyond 2023-24.
The tie-up with TF1 unveiled today covers brand licensing (Téléfoot is the name of a long-running weekly soccer magazine programme on TF1) and an editorial/production partnership, with an hourly Ligue 1 magazine show to air every Sunday from 12 noon. The pair will also produce Téléfoot Vintage, showing classic matches from the archives.
Téléfoot will offer live coverage of 80 per cent of domestic fixtures, eight matches per round from each of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. Gregoire Margotton (pictured right) and France's 1998 World Cup winner Bixente Lizarazu (left), TF1's commentary team for France national team matches, will commentate on major Ligue 1 games for Téléfoot.
Mediapro's Ligue 1 rights include the top 10 games of the season. Its kick-off slots are Friday 9pm, Saturday 5pm, Sunday 1pm, the Sunday 3pm multiplex and showpiece Sunday 9pm.
Pay-TV operator BeIN Sports has sub-licensed its two Ligue 1 games to rival Canal Plus, which will show the matches at 9pm on Saturday and 5pm on Sunday.
Mediapro announced earlier this year that its French soccer service will be priced at €25 per month, and that it was in talks with a range of potential distributors including pay-television operators like Canal Plus and Orange but also major streaming players such as Amazon, Facebook and Apple.
In May 2018, Mediapro picked up the lion’s share of rights to Ligue 1 as the agency, BeIN and telecoms group Free were awarded the five main packages for a total of €1.153 billion per season in a four-year deal starting in 2020-21, a 59-per-cent uplift on the current outlay of Canal Plus and BeIN. Mediapro's share will account for €780 million per season.
Seven months later, Mediapro and BeIN acquired Ligue 2 rights for €64 million per season, nearly three times the annual figure of €22 million committed at present by BeIN and Canal Plus, also in a four-year deal.
Last December, Mediapro strengthened its hold on Ligue 1, splashing out another €18 million per season for package 5, comprising three multiplexes of live games on match weeks 19, 37 and 38, the relegation play-offs and the Trophée des Champions, the annual match between the Ligue 1 champions and Coupe de France winners, and package 7, which includes Ligue 1 magazine programmes from Monday to Thursday.
Having missed out on the rights to the top-tier Uefa Champions League won by BeIN and Canal Plus (with TF1 to show the finals) in deals valued at €375 million per annum, Mediapro swooped for all 266 games per season from the second-tier Europa League and new third-tier Europa Conference League from 2021-22 to 2023-24.