“The advantage of rugby is that Canal+ has become very angry with French football”

The National Rugby League (NRL) has decided to launch its call for tenders for the rights to the Top 14 from 2027 to 2031 this spring, well before it ends. Is this the right strategy?

What the NRL is right about is that they avoid getting involved in the football situation. We are two months away from the end of the Ligue 1 season, we must prepare for the transfer window, but on what basis? The clubs have no visibility. This winter, the…

The National Rugby League (NRL) has decided to launch its call for tenders for the rights to the Top 14 from 2027 to 2031 this spring, well before it ends. Is this the right strategy?

What the NRL is right about is that they avoid getting involved in the football situation. We are two months away from the end of the Ligue 1 season, we must prepare for the transfer window, but on what basis? The clubs have no visibility. This winter, Ligue 1 spent the most of all the European championships. But the clubs have offered salaries with an entire aspect of their economy that they do not control. Unlike football, rugby clubs are not “teledependent”, but rights are still an important income on two levels. In cash and in partner valuation. If tomorrow the Top 14 were no longer on Canal+ but in a medium that does not have the same visibility, perhaps shirt sponsorship would not have the same value. Television is an important player in the ecosystem and, therefore, it is legitimate to want to anticipate.

Can we say that in its relationship with its historic channel, Canal +, the LNR has avoided the mistakes of the football league?

Yes and Canal+ too. In the difficulties of football there is co-responsibility. And in the success of rugby there is a co-responsibility for the good situation. In the mid-2000s, Canal+ changed the nature of its relationship with sports players. It has gone from historical partner to client or supplier. Football continued to grow, putting Canal+ in a competitive situation. Canal+ did the same in 2011 with rugby, when rights increased from just 30 million to 31.5 million. They were alone and took a financial approach. Rugby put Canal in a competitive situation (1). Rights increased considerably in 2015 and Canal once again adopted an attitude more of a partner supporting rugby in its evolution and growth. Canal made an effort not to buy at the lowest price and the LNR did not want to put its broadcasting organization in a situation of too tense competition.

Therefore, it is difficult to imagine the Top 14 moving away from Canal+. Does this put Canal+ in a strong position in the negotiations?

Yes. But we are more in a relationship of the type: “tell me where you want to go and I will see how I can support you.” The best example of this type of relationship is that of BskyB in Great Britain with the Premier Football League. They have always known how to invest more money in creating value and growing with the Premier League. The advantage of rugby is that Canal+ has been very angry with French football. Even if Canal+ owns the rights to the Premier League, it finds it difficult to place a foreign match in prime time on Sunday night. It is the servant who attracts the public. Since football no longer exists, rugby has been able to take over this space. It may get smaller audiences but since it costs less, in the end it is good value for money.

The clubs have 130 million euros per year. Does this increase seem reasonable to you?

Rugby reached 120 million during the Covid period at a time when Canal+ had already lost Ligue 1 to Mediapro. Canal+ was not happy, but not as angry as later, when the football league handed over Ligue 1 to Amazon for less than what Canal+ paid for two matches. There has been a rift and it is difficult to see how the two sides will be able to reconcile. So if there is no football, there is necessarily rugby. But today Canal+ knows what rugby is capable of doing on Sunday in prime time. Four years ago 113 million were bet but today 130 million for the Top 14, yes, it is playable. »

(1) beIN Sports was positioned in 2015.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *