Rough seas ahead again for French football & a TV deal

L’Équipe report that Canal Plus, who in February took over to show all of Ligue 1 until the end of the season after Mediapro forfeited its contract with the LFP 4 months into their 4 year-deal, do not want to bid for the totality of the French 1st division rights when the new tender occurs this summer, plunging French football back into a broadcasting crisis.

Canal + only want to retain their lot to show two show games every weekend, rather than 10 matches per gameweek, but are the only broadcaster with the finances that could offer a package close to the €850m a year that Mediapro signed on for, for the other 8 matchers per weekend, before forfeiting on the contract.

Canal + are currently paying €330m a year for the 2 show matches a weekend privilege, having signed a contract for Lot 3 in 2018.

Canal + in December offered to pay €390m a year for the two show matches per Ligue 1 weekend, plus €200m a year extra to create a 100% Ligue 1 channel where one could watch the other matches, an overall package of nearly half what the French top flight signed on for.

For the LFP, who have no intention of accepting such a proposal, it is therefore necessary to find a second broadcaster capable of showing 80% of the matches.

For the time being, beIN Sports, which would be the ideal solution in view of its links with Canal +, is still dragging its feet. The LFP is in contact with DAZN for these additional matches.

But this new broadcaster, scarred by the resounding failure of Mediapro, first intends to find an agreement with Canal + for the distribution of a channel that it would eventually launch in France on the broadcaster box (equivalent of the Sky box in England). Canal + intend to make that as difficult a negotiation as possible, as they don’t really want to open the door to DAZN and let them settle in the French market. The situation is therefore blocked for the moment, less than a month from the end of the season.