Mediapro boss Jaume Roures has said that his company is ready to take up the reins from Canal+ and BeIN Sports to broadcast the end of the French Ligue 1 football season after the pair stopped payments to the French football league as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
Interviewed by sports paper L’Équipe, Roures criticised the decision to suspend payments was wrong because the money owned covered some matches that had already been played and broadcast and because Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, who is both president of leading club PSG and chief executive of BeIN Media Group, was involved in negotiations in which he had an obvious conflict of interest.
Making an offer for Mediapro to take up the reins, Roures said that the group had continued to pay Spain’s La Liga for rights and that Telefónica had also continued to pay for rights to the Spanish competition.
Mediapro has secured the rights to broadcast Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches in France for the 2020-24 seasons, but rights to the current season are held by Canal+ and BeIN Sports, which exclusively licenses its share to the former.
The pair suspended payments when match play ceased over the coronavirus. Al-Khelaïfi s one of four club presidents designated to negotiate with Canal+.
The BeIN and PSG chief, responding to Roures’, was cited by L’Équipe as saying Medapro’s interest “was very good news”. He said that the Spanish broadcaster and producer’s proposal to air the end of the championship was “even better news and we should study it”.
Roures said that he had been in talks with the Ligue and that football officians wanted to restart the season at the end of August or the beginning of September, if possible.