The media landscape for Canadian Soccer is going to change in a big way.
On Thursday afternoon, both TSN’s Rick Westhead and The Atheltic’s Joshua Kloke dropped bombs on Canadian soccer fans. They both reported that the Canadian Soccer Business is taking back the broadcasting rights from Mediapro. Not only that, the CSB is taking Mediapro to court.
This means the broadcasting rights for the Canadian Men’s and Women’s national teams, the Canadian Premier League, Canadian Championship are no longer owned by One Soccer. This also most likely means One Soccer personalities such as Andi Petrillo, Kristian Jack, Oliver Platt and Gareth Wheeler could be out of work. One Soccer could very well be potentially on the brink of extinction.
Canadian Soccer Business put out a statement on Thursday afternoon. They have stated failure to meet contract obligations as the main reason why they have pulled the plug on Mediapro’s rights. The CSB has also said they try to will find new broadcasting partners as soon as possible.
Here is the full statement below:
Both sides blaming each other
So the CSB is pointing fingers at Mediapro. However, Mediapro is pointing fingers back at the CSB. They also released a statement. In it, Mediapro states that the CSB couldn’t fulfill their side of the agreement.
For those who don’t know, MediaPro is a multimedia communications group based out of Barcelona, Spain. They are involved in the sports broadcasting industry and also the film and television industry. Mediapro has offices in many different cities around the world including Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Lisbon, Miami and Amsterdam.
In 2019, Mediapro, the CSB and the CPL formed the creation of OneSoccer. The contract was a ten-year deal Not only does OneSoccer Canadian soccer matches, but there are shows featuring panels, interviews with Canadian soccer players and coaches, online video content as well as written content.
As the CPL grew and the Canadian men’s and women’s national teams gained success, OneSoccer’s popularity rose. However, the channel was only available for Telus customers and it required an extra payment of about five dollars. But OneSoccer did come with FuboTV for those who purchased it. Fubo owns the Canadian rights to the English Premier League. Despite this, many fans found it tough to watch the CPL, CONCACAF Champions League (now CONCACAF Champions Cup) and the national teams.
Where will the Canadian soccer rights go next?
According to Manuel Veth of Transfermarkt, this isn’t the first time Mediapro has pulled broadcasting rights. They did it in 2020 when they pulled the plug on Ligue 1 rights.
Veth is also reporting that TSN and Sportsnet are being considered by the CSB for the rights.
The lawsuit between the CSB and Mediapro will be a story to watch over the coming weeks and months. That can also be said about whoever the Canadian Soccer Rights go to.
Whatever happens to the broadcasting rights, one thing is clear: Whoever gets them needs to be all in on growing the game.
Say what you want about OneSoccer, but they gave their all to grow Canadian Soccer. The new rights holder must do the same.