LFP kickstarts bidding for the broadcast rights of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches, targeting €1 billion in revenue.
The French Professional Football League (LFP) is inviting bids for the broadcasting rights of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches for 2024-2029. LFP’s head, Vincent Labrune, aims to earn €1 billion from domestic and global rights.
This move represents a significant achievement for the league, as they have advocated for five-year contracts to offer better predictability for potential bidders.
The bidding structure has been streamlined. Previously divided into seven lots, the rights are now split into two primary packages. The premier package covers the top three games of each match-day along with digital broadcasting rights, while the second package includes rights to six other matches.
This restructuring could disadvantage the existing digital rights holder, Free, while favouring the traditional rights holder, Canal+, which has shown significant interest in these rights.
Interestingly, DAZN, which recently debuted in France in partnership with Canal+, might become a strong contender. They currently provide two Ligue 1 games weekly via Canal+ Ligue 1 and have introduced a new channel named DAZN 1.
There’s speculation that Canal+ and DAZN might join forces to place a collective bid for one of the packages. Recently, Canal+ acquired the broadcast rights of the Saudi Pro League for its France and African region.
Other potential bidders include Amazon Prime Video, the current primary rightsholder, BeIN Sports, which under a licensing agreement currently gives exclusive rights to Canal+, and a new entrant, Warner Bros. Discovery.
However, the Spanish company Mediapro, which previously held the rights but had to relinquish them due to financial issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, is not expected to participate.
This previous fiasco led to a reauction where Amazon secured the rights, causing a strain between Canal+ and the league, especially since Canal+ ended up paying significantly more for fewer matches than Amazon.
To ensure transparency and maximize earnings, LFP has auctioned international broadcasting rights concurrently for the same duration. Labrune’s ambition is to elevate the worth of these international rights from the current €80 million annually to approximately €200 million.
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