Rugby World Cup broadcaster TF1, the French free to air commercial television network, is fearing that the losses on account of the three canceled matches due to massive storm – Typhoon Hagibis – may run up to € 1 mn ($ 1.1 mn).
The canceled games also included France vs England Pool C tie, which had a greater commercial value for the broadcaster.
TF1 executive vice-president Philippe Denery, while acknowledging that it was too early to compute the commercials of the tournament, has shared the tentative deficit caused by the canceled games while presenting the third-quarter results, states a sportbusiness.com has reported.
“The cancellation of matches, and particularly a match like France-England, obviously represents a significant loss of income. It’s more than €1 million,” Denery has said.
TF1 has paid around €45m for the rights to all 48 games at the 2019 tournament after taking up an option within its contract to broadcast the 2015 competition.
“We’re losing money on the Rugby World Cup. It was expected and managed with foresight in the first six months of the year,” added Denery. “Yes we will lose more money than expected but we will find compensation elsewhere.”
TF1 recorded its highest ratings of the tournament during France’s dramatic quarter-final defeat to Wales. The broadcaster drew an average audience of 6.7 million and a 62.9-per-cent viewing share.
The semi-finals also attracted a strong audience in France despite the national team having been eliminated a week earlier.
The England-New Zealand semi-final was watched by an average of 3.85 million viewers (a 45.3-per-cent viewing share) on TF1. The broadcaster’s live coverage of the South Africa-Wales match on Sunday morning was watched by 3.78 million viewers (a 42.5-per-cent share).