September 13 – The French Ligue Professionnel de Football (LFP) has opened bidding for the broadcast rights to its premier Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 competitions, covering the 2024-2029 period.
Under the stewardship of LFP chief Vincent Labrune, the organisation has set an ambitious target of making €1 billion from a combination of domestic and international rights with the crucial target being to achieve €750 million for domestic rights.
To help achieve this the LFP has extended broadcasting contracts to a five-year term, with the strong push for longer-term agreements aimed at providing greater stability and visibility for potential bidders, an approach that has been well-received within the industry.
Simplification is the name of the game in this round of rights negotiations. The available lots have been pared down dramatically, from seven in the previous auction to just two. The first, a premium package, offers the broadcasting rights for the three most high-profile matches from each match-day, accompanied by coveted digital rights. The second package, slightly more expansive, comprises rights to six additional matches.
A notable shift in strategy is the elimination of a standalone digital rights package. This decision could have significant ramifications, particularly for the current digital rights holder, Free. On the flip side, this move may play into the hands of historic rights holder Canal+, which has emphasised the value of digital rights.
Adding a layer of intrigue to the proceedings is the recent entry of DAZN into the French market in partnership with Canal+. This strategic collaboration enables subscribers to access two Ligue 1 matches per week through Canal+ Ligue 1, alongside the introduction of DAZN 1 as a new linear channel within the pay TV operator’s portfolio. Furthermore, the DAZN app has been seamlessly integrated into the myCanal service.
The two entities could consider joining forces to mount a joint bid for one of the two available lots. Such a partnership could reshape the competitive landscape for broadcast rights in France.
Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at firstname.lastname@example.org