It seems a deal between Vincent Bolloré’s Canal Plus Group and Qatari-controlled beIN SPORTS looks more certain than ever.
French financial newspaper Les Echos is reporting that Bolloré met with France’s leading football club owners and managers to reassure them that an “alliance” between beIN and Canal Plus would not be a threat.
Equity analysts at Exane-BNP/Paribas, in a note to clients February 8th, state: “Such news confirms that a deal between Canal and BeIn is definitively in the making. This idea has regularly appeared in French press in Q4 15. We believe Vivendi is discussing with BeIN a distribution deal that could, for example, come under the form of exclusive distribution of beIn channels through Canal packages. This could prevent customers to leave Canal to take only beIn (a fraction of the price – only offering sport content). That said it would also mean for beIn a much reduced addressable market and depending upon a key competitor to find new customers. This would likely come at a very steep initial price for Canal (offset, in the long run, by less competition on key rights – in 2020 and beyond?). Finally this would likely trigger some concerns form the competition authority.”