May 21, 2020 / 5:17 AM / 13 days ago

Altice Europe's founder wants 'some money back' on Champions League rights

PARIS (Reuters) - Altice Europe’s founder Patrick Drahi said on Wednesday that he expected to get “some money back” on Champions League broadcasting rights his group agreed to pay with the hope that it would attract new customers.

In 2017, the telecoms and cable group’s French arm won the rights to broadcast Champions League soccer matches for three seasons until 2021, for a total cost of more than 1 billion euros, or 350 million euros per season.

“We already paid 175 million in July last year for the first part of the season and we paid in January another 175 million for the second part of the season,” Drahi said in a call with analysts.

“Problem is: I didn’t see anyone play since mid-March,” he added, referring to the Europe-wide lockdown triggered by the novel coronavirus. “We’re not gonna pay the league for something I’m not getting, ok?... basically, I expect some money back, very quickly.”

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Chris Reese

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