Mediapro agrees handover of OneSoccer channel to Canada’s Timeless

June 19 – Canada Soccer is moving on from its previous media partner Mediapro following a settlement with Canadian Soccer Business (CSB) to the legal action filed in January 2024 with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The dispute began between CSB filed suit against Mediapro claiming the Spanish owned media giant had not fulfilled contractual obligations, failing to pay 2023 licensing fees of $6 million or delivering on a sub-licensing commitment for linear television broadcasting that would have seen Canadian soccer broadcast on cable television channels.

CSB cancelled the agreement, saying in a statement: “By taking back full control of our rights, we will immediately have the opportunity to do so with new partners who have the ability to reach larger audiences.”

Mediapro responded saying that Canadian Soccer had breached its terms within the agreement by only delivering, so far, 25% of a guaranteed minimum to 2,042 CPL and Canadian Championship games by 2028.

The CPL had promised to expand to 10 teams by 2020 and 16 by 2024, but is currently stuck at eight.

“The league has remained stagnant at eight teams since 2020 and shows signs of decline rather than growth,” said a Mediapro statement. Mediapro said it had invested £60 million in Canadian Soccer.

No detail of the settlement have been announced apart from the transfer of all OneSoccer online service, intellectual property and all associated rights to Timeless, Inc. who become the owner of the One Soccer television channel.

As part of the settlement Mediapro will provide production and technical services for OneSoccer under contract with Timeless, for the remainder of 2024.

Scott Mitchell, owner Timeless, said: “We appreciate what Mediapro has done to bring the OneSoccer service to life for the benefit of Canadian soccer fans and are excited to acquire this valuable asset. We intend to take what Mediapro started and continue building OneSoccer into the premier destination for lovers of the beautiful game throughout Canada.”

Unshackled from the media giant, Timeless can now get on with the business of developing, promoting and selling the OneSoccer service, seen as crucial to the commercial development of professional football in Canada.

Martijn Bakx, CEO Mediapro Canada, said: “Since 2018, Mediapro invested heavily in the promotion of soccer in Canada through our agreement with CSB, by producing over 500 games from the CPL, the Canadian Championships and National Team matches. By creating the OneScocer ecosystem, Mediapro has given soccer fans a home in Canada and in doing so, we have shown our full commitment to developing the game in a territory where soccer was, and still is, in dire need of recognition. We are confident that Timeless and CSB will continue to build on these strong foundations and remain committed to growing the sport in all corners of the world.”

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