July 27, 2020 / 5:58 PM / 8 days ago

Altice's SFR agrees to co-broadcast Champions League 2020/2021 matches with Mediapro

PARIS, July 27 (Reuters) - Altice Europe’s French unit SFR has agreed to co-distribute the Champions League’s soccer matches for the 2020/2021 season with Spanish broadcasting group Mediapro, the two companies said on Monday.

Under the agreement, SFR’s sports channel RMC Sport and Mediapro’s upcoming Telefoot French channel will both broadcast the next season’s matches of the Champions League as well as the Europa League soccer tournament.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but SFR previously agreed to pay 350 million euros per season to broadcast Champions League matches until 2021 in France. French newspaper L’Equipe reported Mediapro had agreed to pay half of that amount for the next season, but Altice declined to comment.

SFR said in a statement that it had agreed to distribute the Telefoot channel, becoming the first French telecoms operator to sign such a deal with Mediapro. SFR’s subscribers will thus be able to watch the best matches of the French Ligue 1 championship until 2024.

Chinese-owned Mediapro shook the sports business landscape in France two years ago by winning rights for the top matches of the country’s main soccer competition for the seasons extending from 2020/2021 to 2023/2024, leaving Vivendi’s’s pay-TV Canal Plus arm empty-handed.

The group partnered with France’s private TV operator TF1 to create Telefoot, named after TF1’s historic TV magazine.

Mediapro said subscriptions to the channel would cost 25.90 euros per month. Its founder Jaume Roures said in June he hoped to gain 3.5 million subscribers. (Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Tom Brown)

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