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Tunisian Football Federation finally agrees domestic TV deal

Tunisian public broadcaster Télévision Tunisienne and the Tunisian Football Federation (FTF) have ended months of wrangling and signed off on a new broadcast rights agreement.

The three-year deal runs from 2019-20 to 2021-22 and allows the broadcaster to show four matches per week from the country’s top-tier Ligue 1.

Broadcast rights to Ligue 2 fixtures and 22 matches from the Coupe de Tunisie are also included in the contract.

Access to Ligue 1 stadiums has been granted to Télévision Tunisienne as part of the deal.
Télévision Tunisienne will also be able to broadcast Tunisia’s home friendly matches (at senior and age-grade level), so long as the rights are not held centrally by Fifa, CAF or another continental football body.

The national broadcaster and the federation had been at loggerheads over the asking price for the rights. In September, Télévision Tunisienne issued a press release criticising the FTF’s asking price of TF9m (€2.85m/$3.15m) per season. The state broadcaster was reported to have offered half that sum but its proposal was rejected.

Neither the broadcaster nor the FTF has communicated the value of the new contract.
Télévision Tunisienne hit out at the “unprecedented amount” being demanded that “exceeds the means of a public-service broadcaster”.

The non-exclusivity of the rights on offer was also highlighted by the public broadcaster given the three-year deal in place with Qatar-based sports broadcaster Al-Kass and other broadcasters in the Mena region.

The rights standoff meant that matches during the opening rounds of Ligue 1 games were not shown by the public broadcaster.

Relations between the federation and Tunisia’s national broadcaster have been strained in recent years. In 2017, the federation threatened to ban the broadcaster from showing the league unless it settled a rights fee dispute and paid a TD950,000 fine due to how games were broadcast, including the use of just one camera.