July 18 – The row over broadcast rights between Canal + and France’s LFP has now sucked in beIN Sports who are demanding that Canal+ fulfil the sub-licensing agreement they have for two live matches per round.
beIN applied to the Commercial Court of Nanterre asking for emergency proceedings to enforce Canal+ to execute and perform its sub-licence agreement with beIN Sports. The court accepted this claim and granted ‘an authorisation’, summoning Canal+ to an emergency proceeding next Tuesday with a decision expected by the end of next week.
Canal+ have said they wanted to pull out the agreement after the LFP sold rights to 80% of Ligue 1’s matches to Amazon for €250 million.
Canal+ argue that their agreement was agreed under different circumstances and that the LFP has devalued the market with Amazon deal. beIN Sports don’t disagree with this argument but say they won’t pay Canal+ bills in the meantime.
Originally the LFP sold the rights to Mediapro for €780 million, but when Mediapro pulled out of the deal the league were left scrambling. Canal+ had already agreed a deal for €330 million with beIN Sports for their rights.
The Amazon deal was originally said to be a €600 million deal but when it became known that it was in fact only €250 million, the whole television rights scene in French football started to unravel again.
beIN Sports says that it is still 100% aligned with Canal+ with which it has distribution as well as rights deals, but argues that the French professional leagues is a very fragile eco-system at present and needs support. Without their support beIN say the league is in very real danger of becoming bankrupt.
However, beIN also say that this immediate dispute over whether Canal+ should fulfil its payment obligations with them, should not take focus away from a much bigger issue due to come before the courts in Paris over the LFP’s, economic distortion, abuse of position and mismanagement of the league’s rights.
In this case beIN Sport says it stands 100% alongside Canal+ arguing that Amazon paying €250 million for rights that Mediapro paid €780 million (80% of the Ligue1 inventory), while forcing Canal/beIN to pay €330 million and then €330 million (for 20% of the inventory) is ridiculous (probably fraudulent).
Already the Amazon deal appears to be unravelling with French football fans complaining that they need to buy a second subscription to view matches while also complaining at the high cost of that subscription.
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