Before leaving for the NBA, the prodigy Victor Wembanyama attracted the attention of basketball fans around the world to the French Betclic Elite championship. The pay streaming platform specializing in this sport, Skweek, and the L’Equipe channel are capitalizing on this new aura, by offering themselves for 7 years, until June 2030, the broadcasting rights for the French championship. A record duration for French basketball, accustomed so far to changing broadcasters regularly.
There L’Equipe channel will broadcast unencrypted, on TNT, a regular season match every Sunday at the end of the afternoon, 10 play-off matches including the finals, three Leaders Cup matches and the All Star Game. For its part, Skweek, already a broadcaster this season of the major European international competitions, the Euroleague and the Eurocup, will broadcast all the matches on its platform.
Everyone benefits from this partnership, which echoes that at work for the broadcasting of the Euroleague this season (L’Equipe broadcast about one match per week from a French club). For Skweek, the free-to-air broadcast of certain matches on the L’Equipe channel is an attractive showcase for its paid offer (7.99 euros per month).
The example of the Top 14
“The L’Equipe channel offers enticing visibility for the general public, and behind it, basketball fans and fans of each club will be able to come to our platform,” says Cyril Mejane, Skweek’s editorial director, who points out that next year , more than 800 basketball matches, in all competitions, will be broadcast on its platform.
On the side of L’Equipe, which had an unfortunate experience of broadcasting the Betclic Elite during the covid crisis, this partnership makes it possible to focus on the matches most likely to seduce viewers.
“We can clearly see that there is an interest in basketball today, which attracts young people and more and more viewers, particularly this year with the Wembanyama phenomenon, but beyond that, with clubs that are getting structured, like Asvel, AS Monaco or Paris Basket, testifies the director of the chain, Jérôme Saporito. This leads us to think that there is great potential on Betlic Elite, to be built over time, as Canal+ succeeded with the Top 14.”
Above the goals
The agreement also offers a source of additional income, Skweek relying on the subsidiary of L’Equipe, 21 Production, for the executive production of the matches, which will all be commented. The joint purchase of the rights finally makes it possible to share the bill, the amount of which is not disclosed.
With these new rights, Skweek, a subsidiary of the Fedcom group, shareholder of AS Monaco Basket and owned by Russian billionaire Aleksej Fedoriscev, shows the seriousness of its ambitions in French basketball. Operational since October 2022, the platform does not disclose its number of subscribers, but last year it took advantage of AS Monaco’s good performance in the Euroleague to attract fans.
“We are well above what we had planned”, rejoices Cyril Méjane. Skweek is now also interested in the rights of the women’s basketball league. Discussions are also planned with the L’Equipe channel for the continuation of their partnership on the Euroleague, for which the platform has the rights until 2026.