April 27 – Canal+ and beIN SPORTS and have reached an agreement outside their existing broadcast rights contract that will see them accelerate much needed payments to France’s Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) and its clubs regarding the rights to matches already aired.
With many leagues stuck in rights negotiations and struggling to maintain any broadcast income as they are unable to fulfil agreements with seasons unfinished or abandoned, Canal+ is believed to be paying €35 million, while beIN has agreed to pay €15 million for games already broadcast.
Within its contractual obligations both broadcastes could have withheld all payments but took the decision to pay the LFP and its clubs following meetings with a group of four LFP club presidents specially convened to liaise with broadcasters.
French clubs are struggling to pay players and staff with fears that the professional game in France will significantly contract unless support from broadcasters and sponsors is maintained. Similarly beIN has been one of the first broadcasters to recognise financially that globally professional sport needs support if it is maintain a credible broadcast product.
This payments do not cover the full season contracts. beIN said that a payment schedule for the remainder of the season will be agreed once there is clarity on the structure and timing of the rest of season.
A joint beIN/LFP statement said: “With the desire to support French clubs in this period of uncertainty, and following positive discussions with the committee of Club Presidents representing the Professional Football League (LFP), beIN SPORTS and the LFP have reached an agreement regarding the broadcasting rights of the matches already broadcast.
“The agreement acknowledges the unprecedented situation that is confronting the clubs, the LFP and French football at this time, coupled with the extremely challenging circumstances that beIN itself faces.
“The Professional Football League and beIN SPORTS would like to thank the Committee for their positive intervention and will continue to work closely with the representative group around the planning for the resumption of the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 Championships with the ambition of finding a spectacle that meets expectations, while preserving the health of all.”
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