Thursday, November 05, 2009

French Acting a Bit Irish

The estimable French football magazine So Foot tells me that the French Football Federation, sore at their Irish counterpart doing their own deal with M6, a French TV chain not partnered with the FFF, for the Dublin play-off game, are getting their revenge. They are demanding a minimum €1.5million for the rights from RTÉ (and I presume, TV3, if they're up for it) for the rights to broadcast the second-leg on November 18th. The offer tabled from the Irish side runs to only €600,000. I expect a deal will be hammered out in some fashion in the next couple of weeks but the behaviour of the French is shabby, to say the least. The amount offered by RTÉ is a little more than 10% of that demanded of M6 (the same amount, incidentally, that French broadcaster TF1 pays the FFF for every home match), perfectly fair considering the Irish TV market is approximately 5.5% that of the French one. I can understand how the French Federation were keen to avoid too many Irish fans seeing the match in the flesh on the 18th of November, but are they really determined to prevent them watching it back home too? Here's hoping they get their comeuppance and they'll be forced to undertake sponsorship tours to China next June to drum up revenue.