Amazon, the American distribution giant, broke into French football on Friday 11 June by sharing the distribution of Ligue 1 with Canal +, for an annual amount of 663 million euros for clubs until 2024, a learned The world, confirming information from Agence France-Presse (AFP) and The Team.
According to the distribution adopted on Friday by the Board of Directors of the Professional Football League (LFP), Canal + (a subsidiary of Vivendi) will pay 332 million euros each season over the remainder of the period 2021-2024, while Amazon s ‘will pay 250 million euros annually. To this, the American group will add an extension of nine million euros to broadcast nine matches of Ligue 2 (second division of the French championship).
The Qatari channel, which was in contention for 80% of Ligue 1 matches and 100% of Ligue 2 matches, will be satisfied for its share of two matches per day of L2 (30 million euros), the rest going to Amazon for 9 million euros (plus the payment of production costs, estimated at 25 million euros). The Free operator will keep the batch of extracts in “Quasi-direct” for 42 million euros.
In total, professional clubs will receive half of what they should have obtained at the time of the eruption of Mediapro (1.2 billion euros), a failed broadcaster whose foray into France turned into a fiasco. But this flashback, close to the amounts obtained during the 2016-2020 cycle, looks of relief for French football, very shaken by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Strong financial backs
It is above all an entry with great fanfare into the French football landscape for Amazon, which has entered the sports rights market in recent years via its Prime Video platform, acquiring for example certain TV rights to football in England, in Germany and Italy, or even tennis matches at Roland Garros for the French market.
The strategy of the online distribution giant is mainly aimed at promoting subscriptions to its Prime platform, a service that brings together music, films, series, documentaries and currently costs 49 euros per year or 5.99 euros per month.
The choice of Canal + (a subsidiary of Vivendi) and Amazon, partners with very solid financial backs, should be able to restore a little visibility and stability to the clubs, given the urgency of the situation. With less than two months of the resumption of the 2021-2022 season in early August, clubs must now present a coherent budget on June 14 to the National Management Control Department (DNCG), the financial policeman of French football.
Success of the new president of the LFP
This outcome also has the air of personal success for the president of the Professional Football League (LFP) Vincent Labrune: who took office in September, he struggled to resolve the Mediapro impasse in December, to find a temporary broadcaster in February. for the rest of the 2020-2021 season (Canal +) and finally negotiate over-the-counter with interested broadcasters to find a long-term solution until 2024.
The choice of Canal + and Amazon, ratified on Friday afternoon by a vote of the Board of Directors of the LFP, was favored to the detriment of another scenario where Canal +, beIN Sports and Free shared the L1 and L2 for 595 million euros annually, plus bonuses.
The LFP’s decision was facilitated by a decision on Friday morning from the Competition Authority, which rejected an appeal by Canal + against the terms of reallocation of rights left vacant by Mediapro, clearing the legal horizon around the case.