DAZN, the sports streaming platform backed by billionaire Len Blavatnik, is set to make its first bid for French football broadcasting rights.
The move comes as the French professional football league, Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP), is looking to secure at least €800 million ($858 million) annually from the sale of these rights.
DAZN already holds the domestic broadcasting rights for Italy's Serie A and Spain's La Liga. The company is also considering bidding for the UK's Premier League rights, which are due to be auctioned later this year, according to a DAZN spokesperson.
The rise of streaming platforms has significantly impacted the sports rights revenue landscape. Ampere Analysis predicts that these platforms will account for 21% of global spending in the sector this year, up from 13% in 2022. DAZN made its entry into the French market this summer through a partnership with Vivendi SE's Canal+.
The LFP rights could also attract bids from other major players such as Amazon.com Inc., which currently streams seven out of ten weekly matches, and Canal+, a long-standing LFP partner and co-broadcaster of Ligue 1. Both Amazon and Canal+ have not commented on their participation in the upcoming auction.
Media Analyst at Enders Analysis, Francois Godard, said:
“I see no reason why the total league intake for domestic rights would rise."
The Qatar-owned beIN Media Group is also reportedly considering a bid, according to an anonymous source.
The LFP plans to auction the broadcast rights for the period 2024 to 2029 in two blocks of premium matches.
The starting price for these rights has been set at €800 million per year. LFP's Chief Executive Officer, Vincent Labrune, expressed his hope in a June interview with l'Equipe newspaper that the rights would fetch €1 billion annually.
In 2021, the LFP awarded the rights to broadcast over 300 Ligue 1 games to Amazon and 76 games to Canal+. This followed the early termination of a contract with the previous rights holder, Spain's Mediapro.
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