French soccer clubs face missed payments from pay TV deal

PARIS (AP) — French soccer clubs hit by falling revenue during the coronavirus pandemic face missed payments from a new television deal with broadcaster Mediapro.

The French league said Thursday it refused a request from Mediapro to delay instalments just months into a four-season pay TV contract.

The league said its priority is “to ensure payment to clubs by the deadline date of October 17.”

Spain-based Mediapro is due to pay a reported 172 million euros ($202 million) in October.

The contract is worth 780 million euros ($917 million) per season to show games from the top division, and 34 million euros for the second tier, on the subscription service Téléfoot.

The European Club Association revealed last month its members lost prize money from the Champions League and Europa League last season because UEFA was paying back broadcasters 575 million euros.

Schedules were disrupted during the soccer shutdown that started in March, and UEFA’s competitions were completed in August with fewer games in the knockout rounds.

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