Business rethink on the cards for Mediapro, Roures confirms

The boss of Mediapro has admitted that the company needs to rethink its business strategy following the implosion of its French Ligue 1 broadcasting deal after less than six months.

The Sino-Spanish company made shockwaves in 2018 when it picked up the main rights package to France’s Ligue 1, but that was short-lived with Mediapro missing two payment windows and ultimately seeing the deal torn up last month. The company had protested that its deal should have been renegotiated in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, but that was met with little sympathy from the French Professional Football League (LFP) which was forced to take out bank loans.

Mediapro now wants to renegotiate its domestic rights deal for Spain’s La Liga, with CEO Jaume Roures admitting that the pandemic has had a serious impact on its business.

Speaking to the Barcelona-based Radio Marca, he said that Covid has “made you rethink everything” and that “we are in a new era of which we know nothing.”

Particularly highlighting the impact on now-closed bars and restaurants, Roures spoke of “disengagement” from the product which could negatively impact the value of the contract. He said: “The bars are closed – It’s as if they sell you an electric car and you can’t charge it.”

This is the latest turbulent rights deal for Mediapro, with the company also having been stripped of the domestic rights to Italy’s Serie A in 2018 – though that came after lobbying from Sky as opposed to issues around payments.

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