France TV mouths ‘Telefoot’ battle cry

TF1 going ahead with bid despite rise in costs

PARIS — Pubcaster France Television is taking on private rival TF1 in a battle for French soccer show “Telefoot.”

Bids were made Monday night for the contract to the long-running weekly program that reviews national soccer championship matches.

TF1 has aired it since the 1970s, spending $10 million annually over the past five years.

Now the National French Football League is asking around $30 million for annual broadcast rights.

TF1 told Daily Variety that it’s going ahead with its bid to keep “Telefoot,” despite strong rumors that it’s no longer interested because the program is unprofitable.

Sports director of France Television, Charles Bietry, is keen to increase the pubcaster’s football coverage. M6 and Pathe Sport are also likely to be in the running.

The National French Football League says it won’t sell “Telefoot” to anyone without guarantees of funding and exposure.

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