Record sum paid for French football rights
April 7, 2014
The rights to show Ligue 1 football in France between 2016 and 2020 have been bought for a record sum of €726.5 million by pay-TV companies Canal+ and beIN SPORTS.
The sum represents a significant increase on the €607 million paid for the TV rights for the French top flight up to 2016, and puts Ligue 1 among the most valuable leagues in the world.
“This sum approaches what we expected,” said Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) president Frédéric Thiriez. “I wanted a league on the podium of the three best European nations, and I think we have done it, ahead of Germany and at the same level as Spain.”
“The market has spoken,” declared Thiriez. “The price was fixed by those acquiring the rights in a fair, competitive environment. With this twenty per cent increase, France is on the European podium, at the place it deserves. We’re happy to have kept our two principal partners. Our clubs and our broadcasters are going to have the visibility they need. They will continue to tell the story of the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 championships for the next six seasons.”
Canal+ will show the top three games each weekend with BeIN SPORTS showing the remaining seven as well as the multiplex of all ten league games in Weeks 19, 37 and 38 of the season. BeIN SPORTS will also have the lion’s share of Ligue 2 coverage, the rights for which will bring the LFP a further €22 million.
Canal+ had tried to block the sale of the rights, arguing the LFP was taking advantage of a more competitive market to auction the rights early to drive prices higher instead of waiting until 2015, which had been anticipated. A Paris court ruled in favour of the LFP.