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The £100m disaster that is a warning to Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and the Premier League

A collapse in a French TV deal has sparked fears that the same may happen in the Premier League.

The Mirror report that French broadcaster Canal Plus has told Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 it will not pay £100m due as the next instalment.

Citing force majeure, which allows a contract to be terminated because of extraordinary circumstances, Canal Plus have refused to pay due to the lack of games during the coronavirus pandemic.

Canal Plus chief executive Maxime Saada has written a letter insisting: “Our pay-TV activities are strongly impacted by the closure of large part of our sales channels and by the weakening of the attractiveness of our sports offers.

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“Our advertising revenues are in free fall [and] our international television and Studiocanal activities are also severely affected.”

The fear in England is that, while home broadcasters Sky and BT Sports are willing to be flexible due to the pandemic, overseas broadcasters may not be so understanding.

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Coronavirus and football

Canal Plus has the Premier League rights in France and, with foreign deals making up £4.35b in the last round of negotiations, overseas interest is only just shy of the £5b earned through domestic broadcast rights.

It underlines why the Premier League are so keen to get the season completed.

Clubs will have to pay back £750m in TV rights if they are unable to finish the season, which is an amount some teams cannot afford to lose.

Coronavirus is having an impact across sport in Europe, with football league schedules suspended in several countries, including in England, Spain and Italy. But what happens next?

  – The Champions League and Europa League have been suspended, and UEFA have given an update on what could happen next.

  – The Premier League clubs have also made a decision, with no professional football to be played in England until April…

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