The Team Marketing agency asked French commercial channel M6 and pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus to submit separate bids as well as a joint offer for the rights for the Uefa Europa League football tournament, ahead of today’s deadline for the third round of bidding, according to l’Equipe.
The third round bids were to be submitted at noon today. The rights cover the three seasons from 2012-13 to 2014-15.
M6 and Canal Plus, the current rights-holders in two separate deals, submitted joint bids against Qatari pay-television broadcaster Al Jazeera in the previous two rounds.
Team had deemed the two joint bids from M6 and Canal Plus insufficient despite the financial offers being “significantly” higher than the fees in the current deals, for 2009-10 to 2011-12.
M6 currently pays about €5 million ($6.6 million) per year for free-to-air rights for the first-choice match each week and a magazine programme. Canal Plus pays about €2.75 million per year in the current cycle for the remaining matches.
If M6 fails in its bids, both major European club football tournaments – the Uefa Champions League and Europa League – will have the majority of their matches shown exclusively on pay-television in France from the start of next season.
Al Jazeera has acquired four of the five packages of Champions League rights for 2012-13 to 2014-15, ahead of launching two sports pay-television channels in France this year. Canal Plus acquired the other package.
Team is selling the Europa League rights on behalf of Uefa, football’s European governing body.