Côte d'Ivoire: After tough negotiations, LC2 halves cost of rights for Euro 2008

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Fraternité Matin carried an article critical of the way in which UEFA sold its rights in Africa through LC2 owned by Lagnidé Christian. Much as happened with the African Cup of Nations 2008 which was also distributed by the same company, the public Free-To-Air TV stations are finding it hard to keep with the rising costs of rights for sports events of this kind.

Rights for just eight matches out of the 31 that make up the competition were offered to African broadcasters for FCFA400 million (US$980,000). The issue was debated recently at a meeting of francophone West African TV channels who were trying to come up with a strategy for managing their operations more efficiently by buying rights of this kind together.

According to Alain Doumouya, Director of RTI Sports negotiations with Lagnidé Christian about the number of matches that could be shown led to Christian lowering the price to FCFA240 million (US$558,557) for eight matches. In response, the Government-owned national TV channels offered FCFA300 million (US$735,700) for all 31 matches in the tournament. They also offered what they considered to be a winning offer. They would barter the costs of providing announcers and surrounding programming for the signal across the reason. Although attractive to those selling the idea, Lagnidé Christian preferred the idea of cash and was not willing to sell the whole tournament. As a result of this impasse, Euro 2008 was not widely seen on public channels in francophone West Africa.

Fraternite Matin