For Mediapro and French football, a crisis with several fathers


Roures, in an interview with The New York Times shortly before his hearing with lawmakers, doubled down on his belief that his plan would have worked if the pandemic hadn’t changed everything. For this to work, however, Mediapro’s new channel, Telefoot, would have had to attract three million subscribers, far more than the 300,000 it had managed to attract when it collapsed.

Looking at how things turned out, Roures now says it was the French league that made a mistake by not renegotiating with him. He argues that his new offer – roughly 580 million euros, or roughly $ 675 million – was double the amount the league managed to extract from Amazon; whereas the government’s failure to combat piracy also contributed to Mediapro’s hasty exit; and that Canal Plus, the leading pay-TV operator in France, attempted to abuse its dominant position.

This position may explain why he was unable to negotiate his contract with the league in the fall of 2020. Roures, said a team owner who also sits on the French league’s board of directors, “has lost all credibility and no one wanted to hear from him. “

A league spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, Roures, who rose to prominence around the turn of the century when he secured national rights from Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, lamented the price he had paid. “There has been significant damage to our reputation,” he said in the interview from Mediapro’s headquarters in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

When asked if part of his foray into French football prevented him from sleeping at night, he replied no: “I sleep like a baby.”

While in his interview, Roures tried to provide various explanations for what happened, he refused to point the finger directly at French clubs or his league. But he suggested his new view from the sideline gave him a glimpse into the structural problem that he said could leave the French league perpetually in the shadow of its rivals: The teams there, Roures said, depend on far too much of the players’ trade to balance their books. .

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