Football: outcome in sight for Ligue 1 TV rights



A crucial decision for French football. The Competition Authority dismissed on Friday, June 11 an appeal from Canal + concerning the terms of reassignment of Ligue 1 TV rights. Consequently, the legal horizon emerges with a view to an expected agreement between the encrypted channel and the League professional football (LFP).

After the defective broadcaster Mediapro was withdrawn during the season, the Vivendi group channel lodged an appeal for ” abuse of dominant position “ against the decision of the LFP to only put into play the lots abandoned by the Sino-Spanish group, without including lot 3 held by Canal +.

The encrypted channel, which paid 330 million euros for the two matches of each day planned in this lot, estimated its value now overvalued and called for a global tender. The LFP finally won its case, both before the commercial court in March, even if Canal + announced that it wanted to appeal, and before the Competition Authority on Friday 11 June.

“At the end of its examination, the Authority rejected the referral to the merits of Canal + and the associated request for precautionary measures, considering that they were not accompanied by sufficiently convincing elements”, she wrote in a statement.

According to this decision, the LFP was within its rights by launching its partial call for tenders in early February, covering 80% of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 and ultimately unsuccessful, then opting since then for direct negotiations with broadcasters. interested.

Clubs without a diffuser

The rejection of the appeal of Canal + therefore clears the legal horizon of French football by making possible an agreement by mutual agreement.

According to sources close to the negotiations, this decision could accelerate an agreement with Canal + and beIN Sports, hoped for in the coming hours in the face of the emergency in which Ligue 1 finds itself: the clubs are currently without a broadcaster unless two months of the resumption of the 2021-2022 season in early August and must present a consistent budget on June 14 to the DNCG.

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Domestic TV rights, initially expected at 1.217 billion euros per year for Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, fell, for the 2020-2021 season, to around 683 million euros after the default of Mediapro and the closure of its ephemeral Téléfoot channel.

Maxime Saada, boss of Canal +, expects negotiations around an overall annual figure “Close to previous cycles”, namely an average of 650 million euros per year.

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