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LFP contemplate launching Ligue 1 DTC service amidst broadcast deal uncertainty

Published: Updated: 02:55, 4 Jun 2024
Ligue 1 clubs reportedly pushing LFP to launch DTC service

French soccer's Professional Football League (LFP) is considering launching its own channel to broadcast live Ligue 1 matches if it fails to secure a satisfactory bid for its domestic media rights. This move comes as the league has yet to strike a media rights deal for the upcoming season.

The previous €505 million domestic deals with Amazon and Canal+ have expired, leaving the future of French soccer broadcasting in question. Amazon had paid €275 million per season to show eight fixtures per week, while Canal+ showed the remaining two games via a sub-licensing deal with BeIN Sports worth €330 million annually. Both deals concluded at the end of last season.

DAZN was initially considered as a frontrunner for securing these rights, especially since it recently launched a dedicated service targeting the French market. However, no offer has been received that meets or exceeds LFP's previously stated target of €1 billion in annual revenue for both domestic and international rights spanning from 2024-2029.

A sudden shift in revenue targets by LFP

Interestingly, this ambitious target has now been abandoned by LFP. The league is now aiming to obtain an amount equivalent to its current agreements instead. Despite this shift in expectations, there are still no takers on board that meet these revised targets.

As reported by Bloomberg, clubs within Ligue 1 expect their governing body will propose launching their own channel as an alternative way forward if no satisfactory bids are received soon. This proposed Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) service would be ready just in time for the start of the 2024/25 campaign.

However, there could be further attempts made by the LFP to entice Amazon, BeIN Sports, Canal+, and DAZN back to the negotiating table.

The end of a long-standing relationship

Canal+ has expressed its disinterest in any future deals with LFP, marking an end to their near 40-year relationship. This decision was influenced by Canal+'s frustration at being unable to renegotiate its contract following the collapse of Telefoot and the process through which rights were re-awarded to Amazon in 2021. Both matters were taken to court by Canal+, but they failed on both counts.

French soccer's broadcasting future hangs in balance as LFP struggles to secure a satisfactory media rights deal for next season. The possibility of launching a dedicated channel for live matches from Ligue 1 is now being considered as an alternative solution if no suitable bids are received soon.

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