Mediapro moves to boost French football channel with RMC Sport Champions League deal

Altice France-owned sports broadcaster RMC Sport is set to strike an agreement to share next season’s UEFA Champions League football rights with Mediapro, the Spanish broadcaster and producer that has already disrupted the French premium sports world by acquiring the rights to Ligue 1 and Ligue 2.

According to financial daily Les Echos, Mediapro’s Téléfoot, its new vehicle for airing the French championship from next month, when it takes control of the majority of rights, will most likely also become co-broadcaster with RMC Sport of the Champions League and Europa League.

A deal would enable Altice to reduce the cost of the rights to European football, which stand at €350 million for the 2020-21 season, with Mediapro taking on part of the burden.

A deal would enable Mediapro to position itself as the principal home of football in France for the coming season.

While a deal would potentially position Téléfoot to capture a larger number of subscribers, it would only enable it to air the Champions League for the next year as the rights revert to Canal+ and BeIN Sport for the 2021-22 season. Canal+ will also be able to air two Ligue 1 matches per match day for the 2021-22 season.

According to Les Echos, Téléfoot would charge €29.99 for a service that includes the Champions League, or €25.99 for subscribers that sign up for the whole year.

It had previously been estimated that Mediapro would need to win around four million subscribers for a service charging €25 a month to break even with the French Ligue 1 and 2 rights that it already holds.

Les Echos reports that under the deal being finalised with Altice, the latter’s French service provider arm SFR will not provide minimum guarantees but will offer to share revenue from carrying Téléfoot.

Carriage discussions are also believed to be ongoing with Orange and Bouygues Telecom, whose sister broadcaster TF1 sold the rights to use the Téléfoot name to Mediapro.