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Broadcast future for Canadian soccer appears brighter with CSB, Mediapro nearing deal | CBC Sports



It appears Canadian Soccer Business and Mediapro have solved their broadcast differences.

The two partners appeared headed to court in January, both wanting out of a 10-year agreement struck in 2019, saying the other failed to live up to the deal. And both wanted the other to pay for it.

Canadian Soccer Business, whose investor group and board includes the Canadian Premier League owners, looks after marketing and broadcast rights for both the CPL, which is entering his sixth season, and Canada Soccer.

Mediapro is CSB’s Barcelona-based media partner, a global entity that produces content for 16 soccer leagues worldwide with Canadian games streamed on OneSoccer.

On Tuesday, OneSoccer signalled news that suggested a breakthrough via a tweet advertising its “2024 Season Pass,” offering “exclusive access” to the Canadian Premier League 2024 season, the Canadian Championship and Canadian international action.

On Wednesday, Canadian Soccer Business issued a short statement saying Mediapro and Canadian Soccer Business “are on a positive path toward resolving our differences and expect to come to a finalized agreement in the near future.”

“OneSoccer will remain the home of Canadian soccer … Mediapro and Canadian Soccer Business maintain our commitment to supporting the growth of soccer in Canada, and will communicate further details of our finalized agreement as they become available.”

Prior dispute

It’s a far cry from the combative stance adopted by the two sides in January.

In a five-page notice of action submitted to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, CSB alleged Mediapro had reneged on its payments and “improperly repudiated” their agreement covering media rights and production, broadcast and distribution.

In a 32-page statement of claim, Mediapro alleged CSB had not lived up to its promises, saying that halfway through the agreement CSB has delivered just over a quarter of the number of required matches (a guaranteed minimum of 2,042 CPL and Canadian Championship games by 2028). And that the league, currently at eight clubs. had promised to expand to 10 teams by 2020 and 16 teams by 2024.

Mediapro wanted damages of at least $50 million, court costs and a declaration that it was within its right to terminate the deal.

In its filing, Canadian Soccer Business alleged Mediapro had not meet its requirements, including failing to deliver on a sub-licensing arrangement for linear television broadcasting that would expose its content to a greater audience via cable.

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