Tunisia’s public broadcaster and football federation wrangle over TV rights fee

Tunisian public broadcaster Télévision Tunisienne remains at loggerheads with the Tunisian Football Federation (FTF) over the asking price for broadcast rights to the country’s top-tier Ligue 1.

Télévision Tunisienne has issued a press release criticising the national federation’s asking price of TF9m (€2.8m/$3.1m) per season. The state broadcaster is thought to have offered half that sum but its proposal was rejected.

Along with rights to the Tunisian top flight, the package would also include the Coupe de Tunisie, Tunisia’s home friendly games and access to league clubs’ stadiums.

Télévision Tunisienne has 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 has also been 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 this week’s third round 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.