June 1 – Amid growing scrutiny over the French decision to cancel the season, the LFP and rights-holding broadcaster beIN Sports have reached a compromise over the outstanding international broadcast rights fee payments.
The Qatari broadcaster will pay €16.5 million instead of the €35 million previously agreed, according to French newspaper reports. The compromise ends the recent upheaval in French football over outstanding monies that broadcasters refused to pay in the context of the game’s coronavirus shutdown and follows on from a recent agreement over domestic right fee payments.
“After the agreement obtained with Canal + and beIN SPORTS concerning domestic audiovisual rights, this decision allows the rights owed by broadcasters to the LFP to be definitively settled for the 2019/2020 season,” wrote the LFP in a statement.
Both beIN Sports and Canal+ refused to pay an instalment on domestic rights before the Qatari-based broadcaster agreed to a €10.6 million settlement.
In France, BeIN Sports owns Ligue 1’s international rights in a six-year deal that values the French topflight at €80 million a season. Recently, however, French clubs have complained that the deal undervalues the league, even if at the time of the agreement in 2014 it represented a 146 % increase in value.
“These agreements should not make us forget the unprecedented economic crisis facing French football. During this meeting, the LFP Bureau recalled that the 2020/2021 season will be able to restart as agreed next August with friendly preparation matches in July,” said the LFP.
In March, French football shutdown as authorities tried to combat the spread of the coronavirus which has claimed 28,751 lives in the country so far, according to the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University.
Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas has been one of the most vocal advocates for a rethink, demanding that the decision to cancel the current season be reversed. He has pointed out that French football stands to lose €800 million because of the coronavirus shutdown and the season’s termination.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1593921196labto1593921196ofdlr1593921196owedi1593921196sni@o1593921196fni1593921196