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Volume 7 No. 149
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Ligue 1 Signs $5.3B TV Rights Deal With Mediapro, BeIN Sports

The French Professional Football League (LFP) awarded the Ligue 1 TV rights for the '20-24 period to Mediapro and beIN Sports, which will replace Canal+, according to Dimitri Ranchou of MEDIA SPORTIF. Starting in '20, Ligue 1 rights will be worth €1.15B ($1.33B) per season, compared to €726.5M ($837.7M) now. This is a 60% increase from the current contract, with lots 5 and 7 yet to be awarded and lot 6 being free. The LFP will pocket €4.6B ($5.3B) over the course of the contract. Mediapro "landed a big blow in the French market" by getting eight out of 10 weekly Ligue 1 matches starting in '20. The Spanish media company won lots 1, 2 and 4. The LFP announced Mediapro is considering "creating a sports channel to broadcast its new acquisition." BeIN Sports' coverage of Ligue 1 will "significantly drop" in '20. It was awarded lot 3 and will show only two Ligue 1 matches per weekend. The channel will also have a magazine on Saturdays that will have access to footage of the first two matches of the weekend broadcast by Mediapro. Pay-TV channel Canal+ has been the official broadcaster of the competition since '84, but "will not show a single Ligue 1 match" under the new contract (MEDIA SPORTIF, 5/29).

'TURNING POINT': REUTERS’ Rosemain & Barzic reported the new deal "confirms the inflation of sports rights globally is not over yet" and represents a "dramatic entry onto France's broadcasting stage for Mediapro." LFP General Dir Didier Quillot said, "We're well aware that what happened today will represent a turning point." He added, "(Canal) bid for each of the seven lots, and for each of these lots, it was outbid by someone who had a better offer." Asked by reporters in a call whether Canal+ could "survive" without showing the French league's games, CEO Maxime Saada said, "One thing is certain, Canal won't die for having overpaid sporting rights like most of its competitors" (REUTERS, 5/29).