Racing24-7.net had the pleasure to spend half an hour with the head of LMEM, Frederic Lequien, who is running the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and the Asian Le Mans Series.
We chose to split the interview into several pieces, which contains different subjects.
FIA WEC TV is currently behind a pay-wall. Where is the current consideration, bearing in mind that the number of manufacturers who are coming – they are going to be keen on as big an audience as possible. Is there a discussion about making it free?
“I think we still need television in key countries. We have a super agreement with Discovery/ Eurosport and so on, but we need to do more than this. We can not say today, that the WEC is only broadcasted on Eurosport – it’s not enough. But to change that, you have to put all the actors in the same room, and say – how can we do together, including with Discovery/Eurosport. It is also their interest, that if we show more, it will be good also for them. So we had a very interesting day with all the car manufacturers, and they really understand, that we can not do everything alone. We also need their support, and this is very clear. So on some key markets, they will go together with some major television.”
“We have decided that we will give FP3 for free on YouTube, but we need to be fair with all the distributors – we have some agreements with them – they pay for that- and we can not say from one day to another, that it’s free for everyone, and you can see the WEC on YouTube. So we really have to pay attention to that, and discuss with them, that if we broadcast on YouTube for example, it will be a super promotion for them for the race. And then also, if you take the example of the WEC application. We need to be careful with the contracts with television. In some countries, unfortunately no way to do it. And those contracts are multi-year.”
“When we signed for the first time with Eurosport/Discovery, the goal was very clear – to have a pan-European coverage with one major channel. And at that point it was a really good decision. Now, we want to continue to work with them, and renew the contract, but taking into consideration, with all the manufacturers we have – they will put pressure on, to get better coverage on certain key countries. Now we have to think differently. The question about exclusivity – it’s very sensitive matter. I think we meet with them, once a month. Look at what they did in France – we had the possibility to discuss with Discovery, that we need a strong coverage in France with L’Equipe – they understood that. Because at the end, they understood that. They are a very good partner.”
Thanks a lot to Frederic Lequien for taking the time to answer the questions.
We will bring the final part tomorrow, which is about the environmental challenges and changes that the ACO is making these years.