FFT to review Roland Garros tender process

Fédération Française de Tennis, the governing body of tennis in France, will review its tender for the next cycle of media rights to the French Open tournament after receiving only two bids.

The FFT last month issued the tender covering the next five editions of the grand slam tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, from 2014 to 2018.

French newspaper Le Parisien said that public-service broadcaster, and previous rights holder, France Télévisions, entered a bid, along with pay-television broadcaster Eurosport. However, both offers failed to meet the terms of the tender.

Unlike the tender for the previous rights cycle, the FFT elected to make available separate rights packages available for mobile, free-to-air television and all broadcasters, potentially allowing pay-television broadcasters to enter bids.

France Télévisions made an offer comprising the total rights to the French Open, instead of one or more of the tender’s packages. Eurosport’s offer is said to have been below the reserve price of €15m ($20.4m).

Commercial broadcasters M6 and TF1 both said they would not bid for the rights ahead of Thursday’s news, while Le Parisien said that pay-television broadcaster BeIN Sport had also failed to make an offer.

Gilbert Ysern, director general of the FFT, said: “While there were initially 10 candidates, we only had two offers. We will try to understand why we lost these candidates. The advantage of this type of tender is that you can press reset at the end of the first round.”