“I wish European basketball a television success comparable to that of the NBA in the United States”

Oleg Petrov Norbert Scanella / Panoramic

The general manager of Skweek, the broadcasting platform of the Euroleague in France, explains in detail the ambitions of the Fedcom group in the world of basketball.

Despite the French team winning a silver medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and two big-hitting clubs in the Euroleague this season, Villeurbanne and Monaco, French basketball suffers from a lack of interest from television channels. Taking advantage of the lack of successors to L’Équipe TV and RMC Sport, a digital broadcasting platform called Skweek was born last October. Produced by the media division of Fedcom, a Russian company owned by AS Monaco Basket president Aleksei Fedoritsev, Skweek is available with a monthly subscription of €7.99. Before the clash between Villeurbanne and Monaco on the 11the 1 of the Euroleague this Thursdayer Oleg Petrov, General Manager of Fedcom Media and Director of Skweek, details the ambitions of this original broadcasting project in French sport on Skweek live in December (20:00). Coming from football, the former general manager of AS Monaco now dreams of a success story in basketball.

TV MAGAZINE. – Why will Fedcom Media succeed in launching Skweek, an OTT channel dedicated to basketball in Europe and France?

Oleg PETROV. – Fedcom Media decided to start operations in France because it is a good opportunity in Europe. Basketball is a rising sport and is growing well in your country. Today there is a lot of entertainment, but young people are sports-oriented and are very interested in basketball. This is partly due to the efforts of the American market, which has been imitated in Europe. There is a lot of interest in the initiative of the NBA. The Euroleague was founded twenty years ago. This is a very tight competition with great potential. Sports sector attracts investment. Basketball is still an underappreciated discipline for the interest it can generate.

“In football, 90 minutes with one goal is sometimes a long time. The time to play basketball is shorter, the game is faster and more lively. »

Do you think, for example, that France has a passion for basketball as well as football in Greece?

Namely, France represents the future of basketball in Europe. With Fedcom Media, we felt it was the right time to step in. Young people will consume the basketball product because there is a lot of fast movement and goal. In football, 90 minutes with a single goal is sometimes a long time. The time to play basketball is shorter, the game is faster and more lively. France is a great basketball country that has produced a lot of talent that plays in the United States. Demographics will always produce good players in France. This is a country that should become the capital of basketball in Europe.

Who are the main figures of Skweek today?

It is a platform that broadcasts all the Euroleague and Eurocup games for men, as well as women’s basketball. Europe’s best players are with us for €7.99 per month or €79 per year. We have a promotional subscription before Christmas at €69.99. We don’t report the number of subscribers yet, because it’s still early: we only have 2e marketing month.

Have you brought in experienced experts to provide match commentary?

Yes, we took the best: journalist David Cosetta and consultants Stephen Brun and Ali Traore. We are inspired by the content-wise treatment of football matches, pre-match sets, on-the-spot analysis and half-time magazine topics. We are also constantly improving match processing in terms of production. We invest in broadcast quality. We want to increase the recording of matches to 5-7 cameras in order to get a quality broadcast. This is important to continue recruiting subscribers.

“We are in discussions to buy LNB and Pro B rights in France. »

Could Skweek aspire to be a broadcaster of all LNB matches?

This is a goal. We don’t just aim to broadcast matches. This will be the base, but we want to create a portal for basketball fans. they can spend a lot of time there. And we imagine it in France, but not only. Acquiring the rights will be very important: not only to strengthen our position against the Euroleague, but also because we want to broadcast the NBA one day. The challenge is really high. We have many ambitions. We are in discussions to acquire LNB and Pro B rights in France. We have to invest a lot of money. The amount is sufficient. It is a long-term project.

Can we imagine that this digital offering is then offered in a wider and more powerful offering like Apple TV, Amazon Prime or Netflix?

I cannot rule it out. If we do well, it is a good scenario for the future. Good fic, so far. I wish European basketball a television success comparable to that of the NBA in the United States.

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