By packing their equipment together, Friday after France-Côte d’Ivoire (2-1), the M6 teams had to wonder if the friendly match in Marseille would be their last with the French team.
Their TF1 counterparts can experience the same feeling this Tuesday in Lille after France-South Africa, the last match in a co-broadcasting contract valid since 2018.
Even with the French team, football is not a directly profitable product for free-to-air channels.
After all, nothing is registered: the supply of matches in the 2022/2028 period – excluding the World Cup and European Championships, sold separately – failed in the autumn, and Kylian Mbappé’s partners do not yet know which channel will broadcast their next meetings, scheduled for June for Folkeforbundet.
Prestige does not mean profitability
“It simply came to our notice then. I have the impression that we have fulfilled our mission with loyal partners, TF1 and 6. The audience has been good, even very good, and French football has behaved really well.noted at the end of the year the President of the French Federation (FFF) Noël Le Graët.
Centralized by UEFA and led by the marketing agency CAA Eleven, authorized by the European football body, the procedure initially gathered disappointing offers: with 2.4 million euros per game offered the blues according to a close source. of the file, TF1 and M6 have stayed well below the 3.5 million they currently pay for each meeting …
Over-the-counter negotiations have since opened, and the association hopes to reach an amount at least equal to the amount in the current cycle, even if it means pulling the lots over or shortening the original sales period.
Have the Blues and their stars suddenly lost their seductive ability? “Even with the French team, football is not a directly profitable product for free-to-air channels”says Philippe Bailly, head of the consulting firm NPA, specializing in media. “There is certainly a significant part of image, prestige and loyalty, but in matches with fewer efforts, the public is not cheated, and neither are the channels.”
The calendar is not conducive to major spending until the 2022 World Cup, scheduled for winter and already awarded to TF1 and beIN Sports: TF1 and M6 are engaged in a 2023 merger project that obscures the future of two groups and de facto pulls prices down. .
“I think it’s a bit of a shame that one of the first savings in the upcoming merger between the two groups is to offer a smaller amount than before.”lamented Noël Le Graët in late November, before promising progress in recent days “at the end of March” in an interview with Ouest-France.
The political situations – presidential elections in France, war in Ukraine – and health are nonetheless all reasons for concern about the future finances of the FFF, which has recovered € 33.6 million in television rights for the French team in 2020/21.
” TF1 and M6 will remain in a year 2022 with convalescence, with also a lot of uncertainties. In case of a good period, you can break the piggy bank for such an investment. When this is not the case, you are aware of the costs. ”suggests Philippe Bailly.
Blues also suffer from the conditions of allocation of their meetings, considered as “of great importance” and reserved for free-to-air channels, although a paid co-broadcaster remains possible as long as a free player broadcasts all matches.
But the actors are not legion. “I do not see France’s television embarking on an adventure when it has its own sporting rights to defend (Six Nations, Olympics, Roland-Garros …) ”, Philippe Bailly considers. “As for the small chains, it’s hard to see how they will make the investment profitable.”
Paul Pogba only saved player
Two days after their victory in a friendly match in Marseille against Côte d’Ivoire (2-1) and on the eve of joining Lille to challenge South Africa on Tuesday, the Blues trained publicly at Clairefontaine this Sunday. Only Paul Pogba was missing. Victim of a contusion on the left foot, without gravity, Manchester United midfielder remained indoors. There is no doubt about his participation in the trip to the Nordics.