July 14, 2024
  • July 14, 2024
Mediapro Canada

In Detail: Canadian Soccer Business Settles Legal Dispute With Mediapro

By on June 18, 2024 0 1336 Views

The legal dispute between Canadian Soccer Business and Mediapro was said to have largely resolved itself back in February, when both sides found an operational balance that restored production and broadcast for both Canadian national team matches and the Canadian Premier League – something which had hung in the balance when the dispute began.

Now, Canadian Soccer Business has reached a settlement for all of the legal action filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in January 2024, formally ending its dispute with the Spanish-owned Grup Mediapro.

Flashback: CSB Confident Fans Will Be Able To Tune In For National Team, CPL Matches

Mediapro had sought damages of at least $50 million along with its court costs and a declaration that the Barcelona-based company was within its right to terminate the deal, while Canadian Soccer Business’ notice of action stated it was Mediapro who had fallen significantly flat on both rights payments along with production, broadcast, and distribution promises.

At press time, it is unclear what settlement was ultimately reached between the two, and what the long-term plan is going forward beyond 2024.

Mediapro has now transferred its OneSoccer online service, intellectual property, and associated rights to Timeless Inc, which is a Canadian company owned by CPL and CSB chairman Scott Mitchell.

“We intend to take what Mediapro started and continue building OneSoccer into the premier destination for lovers of the beautiful game throughout Canada,” said Scott Mitchell of the move.

Mediapro Canada CEO Martijn Bakx added that he was confident Timeless and the CSB can continue to build on the foundations built by Mediapro itself, who remain ‘committed to growing the sport in all corners of the world’.

OneSoccer Camera Operator
Photo Credit: John Jacques

For 2024, sources have confirmed that OneSoccer will continue to operate as normal, with CPL and Canadian national team coverage available through its streaming service along with the OneSoccer channel on both fuboTV and Telus.

While 2025 remains uncharted waters for now, we believe Canadian Soccer Business intends to tackle the illusive cable distribution rights issue through partnership with a domestic arm rather than a foreign one. How next year’s games will be produced for distribution remains to be seen.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Mediapro in the best interest of soccer in Canada,” declared Canadian Soccer Business CEO Mark Noonan, who is also the comissioner of the Canadian Premier League.

Mediapro’s statement of claim filed in January also alleged that the CSB has failed to deliver core promises at the midway point of their ten-year agreement. As we surmised previously, one of those is that the league hasn’t met its expansion targets which were initially set for 10 by 2020 and 16 by 2024, a goal put forth ahead of the COVID 19-pandemic.

The CSB’s perspective of its settlement with Mediapro – at least publicly – is a positive one.

“With the 2026 FIFA World Cup less than two years away, this settlement will allow us to continue delivering the best Canadian soccer content to fans from coast to coast as we build toward the biggest sporting event on the planet.”

While the out-of-court settlement was publicly announced today, it is unclear when court proceedings between CSB and Media ultimately came to a conclusion.

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