Combien ça coute: diffuser un match des éliminatoires de la CAN en Afrique?

En ce moment, se déroulent les éliminatoires de la Coupe d’Afrique des Nations 2012, la compétition phare du football africain, qui aura lieu en janvier et février 2012 au Gabon et Guinée Equatoriale. Le tirage au sort de cette phase de qualifications offre des matchs alléchants comme le Algérie-Maroc de ce soir ou encore le Sénégal-Cameroun d’hier ou bien Afrique du Sud-Egypte. De quoi ravir la population africaine que nous savons fans de football.

Mais le problème est que SportFive, l’agence de marketing sportif en charge de commercialiser les droits marketing et TV de la compétition, demande une somme clairement excessive aux diffuseurs locaux pour obtenir le droit de diffuser le match de l’équipe nationale. SportFive demanderait près de 100 000€ pour un match, ce qui est loin de la réalité du marché africain. Certes, certains pays n’auront pas de difficulté à débourser cette somme et acquérir les droits TV, mais pour d’autres, signer un tel chèque a de réelles complications pour la pérennité de la chaîne.

Alors oui, vous pourrez me dire, ces diffuseurs n’ont qu’à vendre plus cher l’espace publicitaire autour du match pour récupérer l’investissement mais cela n’est pas si facile que ça. Il sera compliqué pour un annonceur africain de débourser 10 000€ pour un espace publicitaire de 30sec… Par conséquent, certaines chaines vont malheureusement être dans l’incapacité de retransmettre le match de l’équipe nationale, au grand désarroi de la population locale qui se voit privée du direct et qui se rabattra sans doute sur la radio.

Qui blâmer dans cette histoire?

SportFive porte la casquette du grand méchant loup puisque l’agence de marketing sportif est celle qui enchaine les chèques avant de reverser la totalité à la CAF. Du coup, elle est clairement dans le viseur des autres acteurs…

Parlons des autres acteurs, tiens… Commençons par l’African Union Broadcasting. Créée en 2006, l’AUB a pour objectif de promouvoir et développer les activités TV et Radio en Afrique. Mais je me demande ce que l’AUB fait réellement en ce moment pour enrayer ce phénomène qui ne date pas d’hier et qui touche tout le continent?? En Europe, son homologue, l’EBU (European Broadcasting Union) a pu faire passer une directive garantissant la diffusion de certains matchs dans les pays de l’Union Européenne, voire passe même en direct avec les détenteurs en droit (cf. le deal avec A.S.O mardi dernier). Certes, l’Afrique n’est clairement pas aussi structurée que l’Europe mais je pense sincèrement que l’AUB a son rôle à jouer et mettre au tour de la table les différents acteurs et trouver une solution « à l’amiable » qui garantirait la diffusion du football sur tous les pays, plutôt que dire « que les diffuseurs n’ont pas d’autre choix que d’informer les gouvernements et le grand public afin de mettre fin à cette pratique ».

Autre acteur : les diffuseurs. Certes le marché de la TV et de la publicité à la TV n’est pas aussi mature en Afrique mais je suis étonné de leur manque d’anticipation. Tout le monde (enfin quand je dis tout le monde, je me comprends) sait que la CAN a lieu tous les deux ans, ce n’est pas une nouvelle compétition qui vient d’être créée par la CAF. Pourquoi ne pas anticiper et prévoir ces dépenses un tout petit peu à l’avance ? Je ne dis pas que qu’ils auraient dû économiser l’enveloppe de 100 000€ par match demandée par SportFive mais en tout cas ils auraient dû être en mesure de faire une offre un peu plus raisonnable (on annonce des offres 10 fois moindres dans certains pays…).

Et je ne vous parle même pas de la Confédération Africaine de Football qui aurait du prendre le taureau par les cornes au lieu de regarder cette bataille de loin, assis sur leurs coffres forts…

Quand on connait l’importance des droits TV en tant que revenus pour les fédérations et les clubs, il est vraiment dommage de voir que personne ne fait d’effort en Afrique, ça laisse peu d’espoir quant au développement du football africain.

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