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Soccer.  TV rights: Amazon and Canal + share Ligue 1 – football

Amazon, the American distribution giant, broke into French football this Friday by sharing the distribution of Ligue 1 with Canal +, with an annual amount of € 663 million for clubs until 2024, a- we learned from a source close to the deliberations. According to the distribution adopted this Friday by the Board of Directors of the Professional Football League (LFP), Canal + will pay € 332 million each season over the period 2021-2024 for two posters each day, against € 250 million annually for Amazon which will broadcast the other eight matches on the program. Amazon will add an extension to also share the L2 with beIN Sports.

The Qatari channel, which was in contention for 80% of Ligue 1 matches and 100% of Ligue 2 matches, is the big loser of the day, and will have to settle for its share of two matches per day of L2 (€ 30 million ), the rest going to Amazon for € 9m (plus payment for production costs, estimated at € 25m). The operator Free will keep the batch of extracts “quasi-direct” for € 42 million.

In total, professional clubs will share half as much as what they thought they would receive (1.2 billion euros) at the time of the choice of Mediapro, a failing broadcaster whose foray into France turned into a fiasco. But this flashback, close to the amounts obtained during the 2016-2020 cycle, has airs of relief for French football, very shaken by the covid-19 pandemic.

Personal success for Labrune

It is above all an entry with great fanfare into the French football landscape for Amazon, which has entered the sports rights market in recent years via its Prime Video platform, acquiring for example certain TV rights to football in England, in 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, should be able to restore a little visibility and stability to the clubs, given the urgency of the situation. With less than two months of the resumption of the 2021-2022 season in early August, clubs must now present a consistent budget on June 14 in front of the DNCG, financial policeman of French football.

This outcome also has the air of personal success for the president of the Professional Football League (LFP) Vincent Labrune: taking office in September, he struggled to resolve the Mediapro impasse in December, to find a temporary broadcaster in February. for the rest of the 2020-2021 season (Canal +) and finally negotiate over-the-counter with interested broadcasters to find a long-term solution until 2024.

The choice of Canal + and Amazon, endorsed this 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 the L1 and the L2 for € 595 million 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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