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Canal+ won’t bid for Ligue 1 rights

September 25, 2023

From Pascale Paoli-Lebailly in Paris

French pay-TV company Canal+, which has aired Ligue 1 football since 1984, has informed the French Professional Football League (LFP) that it will not participate in the current domestic rights TV tender for the 2024-2029 period. The news was confirmed to press agency AFP after it leaked to sports newspaper L’Équipe.

The tender was launched two weeks ago, with opening bids at €800 million per season for the domestic market. Bidding is open until October 16th.

In a letter to LFP’s president, Canal+ CEO Maxime Saada blamed a “lack of transparency in the attribution process” and a “feeling that Prime Video has been favoured” on Canal+’s non-participation. He added he was further dismayed over the refusal given to a potential co-licensing deal with DAZN.

Canal+’s decision could be a hard blow to LFP which is eyeing the €1 billion mark for the rights, up from the 2020-2024 current contract that raised €624 million per season.

Canal+ remains attached to non-domestic football. It recently renewed the rights to the UK’s Premier League in France, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Vietnam until 2028. It has also a partnership with beIN Sports, broadcaster of Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A and Germany’s Bundesliga.

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