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Roland-Garros meets with the
European Commission about sport
content on the Digital Single Market
The French Tennis Federation met with the European Commission, media company
Eurosport and several sporting organisations to discuss the European strategy on the
Digital Single Market, which could dramatically change the way in which sports broadcast
rights are licensed through Europe. Both organisers and broadcasters are concerned that
the plans could reduce, rather than increase, European consumers access to different
Szabolcs Horváth, member of Tibor Navracsics team (Education, Culture, Youth and Sport)
at the European Commission, offered reassurances, explaining that "the Commission's goal
is not to prohibit territorial exclusivity." He was also receptive to comments by Jérémy
Botton, FFT Deputy Chief Executive, and Michel Grach, B2B Director, who presented the
tournament's media rights marketing strategy. They emphasized the fact that the RolandGarros model was based on territorial exclusivity and that European rights accounted for
more than half of the tournament's worldwide media rights revenue. Eliminating territorial
exclusivity would also lead to considerable financial losses for the tournament, resulting in
decreased funding for tennis development in France.
The Sports Rights Owners Coalition (SROC) also shares this analysis. The coalition, whose
chairman and certain members also joined the meeting, brings together over fifty sports
bodies. According to the SROC, in order to meet the expectations of fans in their
respective countries, sporting organisations must be free to market their rights according
to their own strategies, specific market needs and local audience preferences. Eurosport
also supports this view, and has highlighted its own strategy that also tends to customise
programmes depending on the country.
Also present at the meeting were Fabien Meuris, Special Advisor to Thierry Braillard,
Minister of State for Sport; Emilie Montané (FFT); Laurent Prud’homme and Thomas
Mayrhofer (Eurosport); Mark Lichtenhein (SROC chairman); Mathieu Moreuil (Premier
League); Seong Sin Han (UEFA); Holger Blask (Bundesliga); Jérôme Perlemuter (LFP) and
Sophie Guillon-Morel (European Tour - Golf).
Paris, May 28 2015