Jaume Roures, the boss of Mediapro (parent company of the Téléfoot channel), broke his silence on Wednesday, a few weeks after launching a huge movement of panic in French football by announcing that he wanted to renegotiate part of his contract broadcast of the French Championship. The Catalan wanted, this time, to announce that his group and the Professional Football League (LFP) had entered a conciliation process, a legal process that can last four months (plus an additional month if necessary).
“It is a confidential process, he says in the preamble. We won the tender which was not overpaid in comparison with the other European championships (Editor’s note: 780 million euros per season). It is a fair price. At that time, we did not have the Chinese associates who returned to us several months later. It is a project for four years and that we are maintaining. We believe in. We knew that it would not be profitable over a year. But the Covid has affected everyone, and not just us. TV audiences have gone down and the lack of audiences does not translate into an increase in subscriptions. We have everything we need to find reasonable solutions. “
Jaume Roures then took part in a long question-and-answer session, but sometimes taking refuge behind the notion of “confidentiality” so as not to answer precisely.
If conciliation does not succeed, is withdrawing an option?
JAUME ROURES. I must have confidence. Why can’t we find a solution? We want to last. The conciliation is fair for this season. We have said that from the start. Not for the whole contract. I don’t want to believe that we won’t get out of this.
Do you have cash flow problems and are you considering a new agreement with Canal +?
We tried to find an agreement with Canal +. We are still in negotiations. About cash flow, I read things that shock me: like the fact that we only have 200,000 subscribers. No, we are at around 600,000, without knowing exactly which of the operators who distribute Téléfoot. The same goes for the agreement with RMC which would have cost 175 million. No, it costs less. Mediapro always keeps its commitments. It’s not four guys and four girls in a room. No, we are present in 36 countries. We are not just anyone.
What are your relations with Canal +?
It is not a judge who will define our relationships. Maybe Canal + plays a role in our situation and is delighted with it (smiles)…
Isn’t this situation likely to encourage the public not to subscribe?
I am here to say and assure that Téléfoot will continue. The existence of the chain is not questioned. Those who want to see the L1 and the Champions League must go to Téléfoot.
What are you clearly looking for with conciliation?
We look forward to having several weeks of conversation with the League to find a solution. We want our contract to adapt and we’ll see. But we are only talking about this season. We have this conciliation, which means that we are not outside the deadlines.
This situation, vis-à-vis the clubs, could it not be anticipated?
As of June, we put certain questions related to Covid on the table. We couldn’t pretend there was nothing. We are also victims, like the clubs or the public, of this crisis.
How did you plan to pay the first installments, since the number of subscribers was supposed to be low at the beginning?
With our own funds, loans, operators and shareholders. We didn’t invent anything. This is how it works.
Are you optimistic about conciliation?
Yes, but I can’t go beyond that. I would like to see the anti-piracy law come out as soon as possible. She was promised at the beginning of the year and it is October.
Weren’t you afraid that the link would be definitively broken with the leaders of French football?
This is not the first time in the world of football that there have been problems. There were some in the previous season. We are looking for a reasonable solution for everyone. Not just for us.
Are you able to pay the December deadline?
With conciliation, we can no longer say that there will be a deadline in December.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr