August 4, 2021

French football chooses Amazon, Canal + slams the door

Six months after the bankruptcy of the ephemeral Mediapro, French football continues to live to the rhythm of psychodramas and twists.

Friday, June 11, the board of directors of the Professional Football League (LFP) chose Amazon to compensate Mediapro after a consultation, where the e-commerce giant was opposed to a tandem formed by Canal + and BeIN Sports.

The American group becomes the new major partner of the French Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 championship. For 250 million euros per year, it will broadcast from next season for three years eight of the ten matches per day in Ligue 1, including the ten best posters and the Sunday evening meet for the 2021-2024 seasons. It will also spend 25 million euros in production and 9 million for eight Ligue 2 matches. Added to the rights already broadcast by Canal +, BeIN Sports and Free, the LFP is supposed to pocket 663 million euros per year.

Read also: “After the Mediapro affair, the marketing method for Ligue 1 must be rethought”

Canal +, had offered 370 million euros for two premium matches per weekend, including Sunday evening, and BeIN Sports 165 million euros. In this scheme, which also includes Free, the LFP would have touched 595 million euros, and a variable amount of 78 million euros, for a total of 673 million euros.

Vengeful press release

But the choice of Amazon was made unanimously by the board of directors, minus one abstention, that of François Morinière, former boss of The team, who feared that Canal + would start a war. What the Vivendi subsidiary immediately did by issuing a vengeful press release indicating that it was “Withdrawn from Ligue 1”.

Umpteenth bluff? Canal + is still in contract with the LFP. It sublicensed “lot 3” to BeIN Sports, ie two matches per day, including that of Saturday evening, acquired at a high price, in 2018, for 332 million euros per year.

Read the analysis: After Mediapro fiasco, French football clubs realize they’re sitting on a pile of sand, not gold

It is this contract that she no longer intends to respect by ceasing to broadcast the matches and to remunerate BeIN Sports. Qatari plays solidarity with the subsidiary of Vivendi. In court, the two allies intend to plead the damage. They point out that Amazon wins 80% of the competition for 250 million euros, the same won by Mediapro for 780 million. And this, while they themselves remain stuck with a comparatively more expensive package. BeIN Sports also notes spending 30 million euros for two Ligue 2 matches, against 9 million for Amazon.

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