PSG lost €120 million due to collapse of Mediapro deal
The collapse of the Ligue 1 Mediapro deal caused huge financial damage, with PSG among teams who did not want to halt the 2019-20 season due to covid.
In 2018, French football met the arrival of Mediapro in Ligue 1 as a knight in shining armour for the division. The media rights management company bought the rights to broadcast Ligue 1 games from 2020 to 2024 for a fee of €800m per season, a record investment in the French leagues, which have traditionally suffered from a relative lack of investment compared to the Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A, where the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, the Milan and Manchester clubs etc guarantee huge global interest. It was a particularly sweet deal as broadcasters had generally given Ligue 1 a wide berth given the range of other options on offer.
Mediapro pull out of Ligue 1 deal
However, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the Spanish media group announced that it was unilaterally pulling out of the deal with the French LFP, sparking an unprecedented crisis in Ligue 1. The division’s undisputed heavyweight, PSG, were one of the clubs who came off worst from the collapse of the deal, taking on losses of €120 million, according to the Parc des Princes CEO, Jean-Claude Blanc.
“The withdrawal of Mediapro from the broadcasting of French football has caused the loss of opportunity amounting to €120m for PSG,” Blanc told a hearing at the National Assembly. “We were able to offset the losses with alternative revenues. But PSG have been affected by the failure of this deal.”
“The TV rights allocation process was carried out by a committee in which PSG did not participate,” Blanc continued. “We stated, in 2018, that PSG did not want to participate in the voting process. The level of security offered by Mediapro’s deal with the LFP was considered sufficient to vote in favour of this new broadcaster. The legal services [of the LFP] validated these proposals.”
PSG were "not in favour" of Ligue 1 covid stoppage
Blanc also revealed that PSG were among the handful of teams who were not in favour of halting Ligue 1 during the coronavirus crisis, which led to PSG being awarded the title in April 2020 before the season had concluded. “When it was decided to halt the 2019-20 season, PSG were in favour of carrying on. We were not in favour of an indefinite stoppage. But Ligue 1 was reliant on the profits that were to be generated by Mediapro to justify this definitive stoppage.”