Ligue 1 TV rights: Amazon retained, Canal + slams the door

After a long soap opera full of twists and turns, the League announced on Friday that it had sold its TV rights for the next three seasons to Amazon and Canal + against 663 million euros annually, rather than opting for the Canal + / beIN Sports tandem. But the French channel decided to withdraw following this decision. “Canal + will therefore not broadcast Ligue 1”, announced the encrypted television group (subsidiary of Vivendi) in a press release.

Amazon, the American distribution giant, broke into French football on Friday by sharing the distribution of Ligue 1 with Canal +, with an annual amount of 663 million euros for clubs until 2024, he said. we learned from a source close to the deliberations. According to the distribution adopted Friday by the Board of Directors of the Professional Football League (LFP), Canal + was to pay 332 million euros each season over the period 2021-2024, against 250 million euros annually for Amazon, which would add an extension to also share Ligue 2 with beIN Sports. “After the failure of the choice of Mediapro in 2018, Canal + regrets the decision of the Professional Football League (LFP) to retain Amazon’s proposal today to the detriment of that of its historical partners Canal + and beIN Sports”, let the group know.

Amazon on the offensive

The beIN Sports channel, which was in contention for 80% of Ligue 1 matches and 100% of Ligue 2 matches, had to settle for two matches per day in Ligue 2 (30 million euros), the rest going to Amazon for 9 million euros (plus payment of production costs, estimated at 25 million euros). The operator Free was to keep, him, the batch of extracts in “quasi-direct” for 42 million euros.

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It was above all an entry with great fanfare into the French football landscape for Amazon, which in recent years has entered the sports rights market via its Prime Video platform, for example acquiring certain football TV rights in England, Germany and Italy, or even tennis matches at Roland Garros for the French market. The strategy of the online distribution giant is mainly aimed at promoting subscriptions to its Prime platform, a service that brings together music, films, series, documentaries and currently costs 49 euros per year or 5.99 euros per month. The choice of Canal + (a subsidiary of Vivendi) and Amazon, partners with very solid financial backs, was to restore a little visibility and stability to the clubs, given the urgency of the situation.

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The choice of Canal + and Amazon, ratified on Friday afternoon by a vote of the Board of Directors of the LFP, was favored to the detriment of another scenario where Canal +, beIN Sports and Free shared Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 for 595 million euros annually, plus bonuses. The LFP’s decision was facilitated by a decision in the morning of the Competition Authority, which rejected an appeal by Canal + against the terms of reallocation of rights left vacant by Mediapro, clearing the legal horizon around the case.

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