The French national side’s woeful performance in the ongoing soccer World Cup threatens to hit the nation’s biggest TV network TF1 right where it hurts – ad revenues.

A unit of construction and communications colossus Bouygues, TF1 paid over €168 million ($158m; £108m) for exclusive rights to broadcast this World Cup and the next on French TV, confident that ‘les bleus’, the reigning champions, would feature prominently in the final rounds.

However, the French team succeeded in mounting the worst defence of the World Cup title yet seen in the tournament’s 72-year history, failing not only to win a match, but even to score a goal.

Their elimination from the competition Tuesday poses a serious problem for TF1’s ad sales. It is estimated that the network will now lose up to €4m every match as its World Cup ad time plummet sans les bleus.

Indeed, some analysts are predicting losses of €30m for TF1’s World Cup coverage – over 15% of the broadcaster’s profits for 2001.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff