Riad Ait Aoudia, CEO of MEDIALGERIA “The market income is still very low in Africa”
Africa FootGoal : Hello Mr. Riad, don’t you think streaming can kill TV broadcasting rights?
Riad Ait Aoudia : Illegal streaming, since we’re talking about that one, we’re not talking about legal streaming yes it can kill it, of course, because who is going to buy a paid product when it can be found for free with impunity, since there is very little risk today when you watch it. I would say the solution to illegal streaming would be legal streaming. This means that the big actors in the media or in technology, what we call GAFA, who are also starting to take an interest in it, but not enough I would say, can provide a solution that would generate additional income. But of course, if you have a store and everyone can come and help themselves without paying, your store isn’t going to last long, would you agree with me?
Africa FootGoal : Can you tell us about the impact of covid-19 on African clubs from a marketing perspective?
Riad Ait Aoudia : Economically I wouldn’t know, I know there was work that was done by the World Leagues Forum. The World Leagues Forum had set up a team that simply exchanged information, and we were able to see the situation of the world leagues, precisely African leagues which could play and which could not play. But you know I heard something amazing, we have an investor here who was asked to invest a lot and buy a club and he was explaining to us that he was losing less money, the situation was so bad and complicated, that he lost less money when he was not playing. I don’t understand why but that was the case. Overall, of course, if a team is not playing, the ticket revenues I would say in Africa, it seems to me they would be low. Of course, if you don’t have the income the effects are catastrophic. Paradoxically, maybe because in Africa the state supports this whole ecosystem, maybe the effect of covid is less dramatic than elsewhere. But it’s for the wrong reasons, it’s because market incomes are low.
Africa FootGoal : One last question. What is your take on the Africa FootGoal initiative?
Riad Ait Aoudia : It is a great pleasure to speak to my brothers on the continent. We don’t have enough opportunity to talk about it. On this matter of rights, we always complain that other people have decided that we in North Africa should depend on markets that have other revenues, since we are forced to buy the competitions of Africa from media that are not even in Africa and it is still sometimes a little incomprehensible. We find that some issues are similar and in any case to interact with panelists as nice and as professional as you, and answer questions, so if people want to ask me questions they are all welcome, it’s a pleasure. I would say to the Professor (panelist on the same panel) that if he has good profiles of people who have experience who are in Senegal, who have good profiles of marketers and all that we are always searching. We think that after all Algerian football has quite a few players who come from sub-Saharan Africa but it might also need not only the legs but also the well-trained brains that you have at home. We really need it. I hope that this initiative will continue and will be repeated. I believe that the exchanges are very weak between the African countries, it is one of the big problems, it is its main problem we could say. We are sometimes economically dependent on people who are not in our continent. Is it because of us or because of other people, it is of course a bit of both. So the men who took this initiative should be thanked by all of us, by me anyway, and I think they are doing good to their continent and to their brothers.
Africa FootGoal : Thank you very much and see you soon.