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UPDATE 1-Mediapro seeks agreement over French soccer rights payments

(Adds details on dispute with French League, comments)

PARIS, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Spanish media rights agency Mediapro is working with the French soccer governing body to find an agreement over its Ligue 1 broadcasting rights, its founder Jaume Roures said on Wednesday, amid a dispute over its payments under the deal.

Earlier in October, the French League (LFP) issued the company with a formal notice to honour a 172 million euros ($203.75 million) payment as part of its broadcasting deal.

The French League said that if it could not reach an agreement with Mediapro it might have to consider giving the contract to other operators. Mediapro operates the Telefoot channel and had agreed to pay 780 million euros per season to broadcast the games.

Mediapro, majority-owned by Chinese private equity fund Orient Hontai, has said it needs to renegotiate its deal due to the COVID-19 crisis, though its initial request was turned down.

Roures said Mediapro was now working with the French League to find an agreement out of court, adding that the process was confidential. He said a renegotiation only affected its rights deal for the current soccer season, and not the three to follow.

“Things cannot continue like before,” Roures told a news conference. He said that Mediapro had begun raising problems linked to the COVID-19 crisis with the French League in June. “We are also victims of this situation.”

Telefoot, which was only launched in August this year, has attracted 600,000 subscribers so far out of a target for 3.5 million, Roures said. ($1 = 0.8442 euros) (Reporting by Matthieu Rosemain, writing by Dominique Vidalon and Sarah White. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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