Sports fans are preparing for a tough weekend. Several European football championships are suspended, until early April or new orders. In France, no professional or amateur football match will take place. Coronavirus obliges, the European competitions – Champions League and Europa League – are also canceled. The American basketball championship also pauses for ” at least “ a month.
For the thematic sports channels, whose antenna is mainly devoted to the retransmission of these meetings, all the programming is to be reviewed. BeIN Sports, broadcaster of the German Bundesliga, the Spanish Liga, the Italian Serie A, the Turkish Süper Lig, the French championships and the NBA, is dry. Several dozen hours of live broadcast are reported. As of Monday, the channel will set up an adapted grid, where reruns will take up a lot of space, explained Florent Houzot, director of the antennas of BeIn Sports. Subscribers will thus be able to review a selection of “Big matches” of the current season and matches of the 2018 World Cup, for which FIFA has already given the Qatari channel an agreement in principle.
To keep in touch and entertain its 3.4 million subscribers, BeIn Sports is also working on the production of two new programs: “BeIn Story” where journalists from the channel will retrace the “Great and beautiful stories of sport” ; and every evening, “Hello All”, an entertainment program. Columnist Vincent Parisi will ensure a morning gym meeting, to ” Stay fit “. The channel does not refrain from buying other programs, in particular films or television films on sports themes. In order to protect employees, journalists’ trips were canceled at the start of the week and their presence is limited, as far as possible, to live programs.
All programs directly linked to competitions are deprogrammed. However, this weekend, two live talk programs are maintained: “L’Expresso latte” in the morning at 9 am and the “Tribune Sports” on Sunday at 7 pm.
RMC Sport, for its part, normally broadcasts European football competitions but also the English, suspended, and Portuguese championships. “We try to be inventive”, explains Hervé Beroud, Deputy Managing Director of Altice Média, responsible for information and sport. The channel, which claims two million subscribers, will rely on two types of content. First on its catalog of documentaries, broadcast on “Transversales” or “Comme Jamais” shows, including reruns but also unpublished numbers.
The Altice group chain will also invest in the archives, by re-broadcasting European or English posters. “This weekend, we have planned the re-broadcast of PSG-Dortmund, enriched by sets and the re-run of the documentary PSG, memories of Europe “, says Hervé Beroud. The archives will also be used to produce new programs: “Five great bonuses on the great European finals “ are being produced by the mobilized teams. “It’s a complicated time, but people are united and ready to change their work habits. “
Should we fear a leak of subscribers? RMC Sport subscriptions cannot be interrupted during the year. The equation is not quite the same for BeIn, which does not comment on the subject. “The addition will be painful for everyone”, Florent Houzot estimates, while the question of the postponement of the competitions and their televised rights, in particular of the Euro 2020 planned in June, is in the heads. “Our subscribers know the quality of our rights and know that they will be back, I hope, as soon as possible”.
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