January 18 – The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) is to issue a new tender for French domestic TV rights after broadcaster Canal+ returned its Ligue 1 media rights to the LFP.
Finding a new broadcaster or a new rights deal has become of the utmost urgency and importance for the majority of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs, who have been struggling financially during the covid-19 pandemic and were already struggling with the losses from Mediapro’s exit from the French football market.
The LFP has taken out multiple loans to cover the parachute payments to the clubs and help them navigate the economic consequences of the global health pandemic. French football was one of the few leagues to cancel the reminder of the 2019-20 season after the global health crisis forced football to shut down. The government has however said that it will not bail out the LFP over the current rights situation.
Matches in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 are still being played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus pandemic, continuing the wipe out of matchday revenue that is crucial for many clubs.
Canal+ boss Maxime Sadaa said last week an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro that the devaluation of the league was the main motive for them handing the rights back. Canal+ believed they were overpaying for their package.
Sadaa said: “We came to the conclusion on the Canal + side that it was in the interest of all stakeholders to go through a call for tenders. We therefore sent a letter to the LFP to inform them of the return of lot 3 that beIN Sports has sublicensed us.”
The rights deal with Mediapro collapsed in the autumn. The deal between the LFP and Mediapro had been expected to generate in excess of €800 million in TV revenues for the top two leagues per season.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1614343838labto1614343838ofdlr1614343838owedi1614343838sni@o1614343838fni1614343838