The Tribunal de Commerce de Nanterre (Nanterre Commercial Court) has authorised Canal+ to suspend the sublicensing contract with beIN Sports and to interrupt its payments for the broadcasting of two French top-flight Ligue 1 football matches.
The court said, nevertheless, that these payments should resume if the Qatari channel were to sue the Professional Football League (LFP), which Canal+ had sought unsuccessfully. in 2018 beIN acquired the Lot 3 broadcasting rights for two matches per game day for €332 million from the LFP, which it sublicensed for the same amount to Canal + which is supposed to broadcast them.
However, following the award mid-June of 80 per cent of Ligue 1 matches to Amazon for €250 million, Canal+, which refuses to pay €332 million for just two matches per day, wants to withdraw from L1 coverage.
After writing to beIN on July 13th expressing its wish to suspend its sublicensing contract, Canal+ also the same time failed to honour the first €500,000 payment, with the second tranche expected for early August. beIN responded two days later by filing an urgent proceeding to the Nanterre Court of Commerce seeking to make Canal+ respect the agreement. However, the Court ruled that beIN should initiate proceedings against the LFP as requested by Canal+.
Sources suggest that the Qatari broadcaster is considering such a course of action since a case against the LFP would oblige Canal+ to pay and broadcast the matches.