TF1 and M6 lobby to defer 65 per cent of Euro 2020 rights fees
TF1 and M6, the French free-to-air commercial broadcasters, have reportedly asked to defer over half of their rights payments for the Uefa 2020 European Championships with the tournament pushed back 12 months
The networks have asked Uefa if they can postpone the remaining 65 per cent of their rights fees, which is due to be paid in full by the start of`June, until next season, L'Equipe has reported.
The duo have paid 35 per cent of the combined €50 million ($54 million) fee, which was agreed in November last year in an evenly-split deal with CAA Eleven, Uefa’s marketing rights agency for national team tournaments.
The two networks will have FTA rights to 23 matches in total; M6 showing 11 games including the final and TF1 showing 12.
Pay-TV's BeIN Sports will show all 51 Euro 2020 games in France, 28 exclusively, in a deal worth around €35 million.
Last month, Uefa postponed Euro 2020 by 12 months as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and it will now be played between 11 June and 11 July 2021.
The broadcasters have apparently not yet received a response from Uefa.
Broadcasters in France are starting to feel the economic pinch caused by an absence of live sport, and therefore an assumed downturn in subscriptions.
Last week, BeIN and Canal Plus, which both hold live rights to French soccer’s top-tier Ligue 1, wrote to the LFP, the country’s professional soccer league, to announce that they would not be making their next rights payments while the coronavirus-related suspension continues.
BeIN and Canal Plus hold Ligue 1 rights until the end of this season in a deal worth €726.5 million per season. The pair did not meet their scheduled payment date of 5 April, and a final payment deadline of 5 June also looks doubtful at this stage.
Meanwhile in Brazil, commercial broadcaster TV Globo will not let its suspension of broadcast rights payments for specific regional soccer leagues in the country affect the top-tier national leagues, or the Copa do Brasil competition.
Last week, Globo confirmed it would be suspending its next set of payments for rights to specific Brazilian state championships (which operate at a different level of the country’s professional soccer structure), due to the suspension of all professional soccer in the country as a result of the virus’ spread.
However, the broadcaster has now told Brazilian news site UOL: “Globo has so far maintained the payment of clubs participating in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, Série B and Copa do Brasil.”
Among the competitions which Globo suspended payments for last week was the Campeonato Paulista, the Sao Paulo state championship.
In a letter sent to Sao Paulo’s FPF governing body at that point, and then made public, Globo stated: “In view of the suspension of the 2020 Campeonato Paulista, for an indefinite period, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we inform that as a precautionary measure we are suspending the payment of the last instalment referring to the Campeonato, scheduled for 05/04/2020, in accordance with the clauses of contracts, while the current uncertainty regarding the impacts of the pandemic on the full or effective continuation of the Campeonato endures.”
Now, Globo has confirmed that in regards to the state leagues: “Globo has paid for some contracts 100 per cent and in other 75 per cent of the amounts referring to these championships, even with the effective delivery of 55 per cent to 65 per cent of the games.”