Failure for French football re-tender
February 2, 2021
From Pascale Paoli-Lebailly in Paris
LFP has admitted failure in the re-tender process for French football league 1 and 2 rights. The bidding was opened following the cancellation of Mediapro’s deal in December 2020 but was doomed when Canal+ boycotted the process.
Bids from rivals Amazon, DAZN and Eurosport failed to reach the reserve price. The LFP now is giving itself forty-eight hours to determine the next steps of the rights sale process.
Canal+ is in conflict with the league, as the new call for bids excludes the batch of matches acquired by beIN Sports and partially sublicensed by Canal + for €330 million. Deeming this move anti-competitive, Canal+ is taking legal action to try and block the re-tender process. The court hearing has been scheduled for February 19th. Canal+ has also complained to the French Competition Authority on grounds of monopoly.
The new LFP tender has been set up urgently as French football clubs are currently facing a financial crisis after losing several million euros a year, set against the record €1.2 billion contract it signed in 2018 after the initial tender process, which included Mediapro’s €800 million deal. The LFP’s risk of a match coverage blackout is becoming closer and closer.
The Téléfoot pay-TV channel, which was set to stop by the end of January, eight months after being launched, has been extended by Mediapro and will continue to broadcast Ligue 1 matches until February 3rd. Other networks such as TF1, M6 and France Télévisions also offered their services for a limited period.
Meanwhile, the ISP Free provides near live highlights on the Uber Eats app.