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LFP extends tender process for Ligue 1 media rights

French football's governing body has also postponed the rights search for Ligue 2

The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP), the governing body of French football's top-tier league structure, has announced an extension to the tender process for domestic media rights to Ligue 1. This decision comes after the reserve prices for the competitions were not met by the October 17 deadline.

The LFP initially tendered the rights to both Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 leagues for the next cycle, which spans from the 2024-25 season through to the end of the 2028-29 season. This decision was made on September 13, following the French government's approval to extend the length of the contracts from four to five campaigns.

However, the LFP has now revealed that none of the five bidding lots for rights had been assigned by the deadline, as all bids failed to meet the provisions of the deal.

Postponement of Ligue 2 rights search

In light of the unsuccessful bids, the LFP has decided to postpone the rights search for the second-tier Ligue 2. This strategic move is aimed at offering Ligue 1 individually to garner greater interest from potential bidders.

The LFP had high hopes that the extended five-year contract length would attract bids of more value than its high reserve prices for the two main packages of live Ligue 1 rights. These prices stood at €530 million and €270 million per season, respectively.

If these prices were reached, the main package price would have increased incrementally by €10 million per season, and the second package by €5 million.

Discrepancy in valuation

The fact that none of the five lots met the reserve price indicates a significant difference in the valuation of the product between the LFP and the prospective rightsholders. This discrepancy suggests that the LFP may need to reassess its pricing strategy or find ways to enhance the perceived value of the media rights to attract higher bids.

The LFP's decision to extend the tender process for Ligue 1 and postpone the tender for Ligue 2 reflects the challenges faced in securing satisfactory bids for the media rights. It remains to be seen how this situation will evolve and what impact it will have on the future of French football broadcasting.

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