France’s professional football league, la Ligue de Football Professionnel, has announced the outcome of its bid process for the audiovisual rights to its premier league Ligue 1 for the period 2020-2024, with Spanish media group Mediapro emerging as the big winner at the expense of Canal+, a partner of the league since 1984. The news followed the announcement that Mediapro had lost the TV rights to Italian Serie A football following the league’s decision to cancel the contract awarded to the firm for €1.05 billion.
Packages were awarded as follows:
“Canal + is the primary partner of French football since 1984 and will continue until 2020,” said the LFP. “It has played a key role in improving the attractiveness of our sport and its influence throughout the country. It helped to reinforce football as the favourite spectacle of the French. The LFP and all the French professional clubs want to thank Canal + for its outstanding work in the service of football.”
The right raised a total amount of €1.153 billion per season, an increase of 60 per cent (59.7 per cent exactly before allocation of lots 5 and 7) compared to the period 2016-2020 and a total amount of €4.613 billion for the period 2020-2024.
According to the LFP, the outcome of the bid process will enable it to make up some of the ground in domestic rights compared to other major European leagues, with the increased sum reflecting the increase in audiences and attendance in stadiums.
In a Statement, the Canal+ Group noted that it is the exclusive broadcaster of Ligue 1 until June 2020 with the three biggest matches in each championship day on Canal+ channels and the entire competition on beIn Sports, of which the Group is the main distributor.
For the period after the summer of 2020, Canal+ says it will examine the possibilities of sublicensing the rights which is provided for and authorised by the rules of the invitation to tender, and explore potential partnerships with premium sports rights holders, similar to the distribution agreements already in place with beIn Sports and Eurosport.