Football: M6 removes the 2026 and 2030 World Cups from TF1’s cleats

Football: M6 removes the 2026 and 2030 World Cups from TF1’s cleats

M6 ne partagera peut-être pas les matches avec TF1. MAXPPP

La chaîne a remporté l'appel d'offres de la FIFA  sur les droits de la Coupe du monde 2026 et 2030 au détriment de son concurrent. 

M6 sidelines TF1: the sixth channel will broadcast the 2026 World Cup and 2030 World Cup matches in clear text after acquiring the rights in place of the historic broadcaster. " We have obtained the rights to the 2026 World Cup (…) and also to the 2030 World Cup, so two World Cups will be broadcast for free on M6"< /em>, declared the president of M6, Nicolas de Tavernost, Thursday on RTL.

By making this announcement on his group's radio station, he made official what had been an open secret since press reports on Tuesday. Asked if M6 was going to resell certain matches to TF1, the manager kicked in, after recalling that the two channels were sharing Euro-2024 this summer.

"Our competitor did not wish to continue sharing, this is why we took our responsibilities (…) to have completeness for the first time , the exclusivity of unencrypted matches", said Mr. de Tavernost, who will leave his post in April, after 37 years of reign.

If TF1 did not buy any matches from M6, it would be a shock in the audiovisual landscape: it would be the first time that the first channel, created in 1975, would not broadcast any World Cup match.  

"Good investment"

The amount paid by M6 has not been revealed. According to RMC Sport, which revealed the information on Tuesday, it is "very high". Mr. de Tavernost simply assured that the estimate of 175 million euros which had circulated was "totally false". "We are rather below what has been practiced until now on the market& ;quot;, he said. For the last edition, in 2022, TF1 had paid an estimated amount of around 70 million euros (its offer total coupled with that of BeIn for paying rights was estimated at 130 million euros).

The 2026 World Cup will be jointly hosted by Canada, the United States and Mexico. It will be played for the first time in a format expanded to 48 teams, compared to 32 previously, with 104 matches in total. The 2030 edition will take place mainly in Spain, Morocco and Portugal.

The M6 ​​group now holds the rights to 54 of the most beautiful posters for each of the next two World Cups. It also includes the channels W9, Teva, Paris Première and Gulli, and announced on Wednesday the launch in May of its new free streaming platform, M6+.

The call for tenders from the International Football Federation (Fifa) opened on January 9 and closed on February 13. Until now, M6 had only broadcast World Cup matches once, in 2006. The channel also broadcasts part of the Euro, the championship of Europe of Nations, since the 2008 edition. Historically, the Football World Cups are considered unprofitable for the channels, even if they are important in terms of image. A thesis that Mr. de Tavernost has challenged. "It's a good investment", he insisted.

Audiences and advertising

The 2022 edition in Qatar achieved strong audiences, at the end of the year and without significant time difference. The 28 matches broadcast by TF1 attracted an average of 8.7 million viewers each. The eight matches of the French team were watched on average by 16.2 million viewers each.

The final, where Argentina won against France on penalties (3-3, 4 tab to 2), established a historic record of & #39;audience for French TV (24.1 million people on TF1). According to a study by Arcom, the media regulator, published in June, this had “a clearly positive effect (…) in terms of advertising revenue”.

"TF1 alone totals 151.1 million euros in gross revenue across the entire competition (excluding sponsorships and digital), an increase of 37% compared to 2018 (110.5 million euros gross)", analyzed the study of the&#39 ;Arcom, based on data provided by analyst Kantar.

In 1998, M6 advertised itself by boasting of being the "0% football" but had changed strategy by buying the Girondins de Bordeaux club the following year, then gradually positioning itself in the rights field.

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