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Bein Sports could solve French football’s TV deal crisis

After the deal with Téléfoot/Mediapro collapsed it is no secret that Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) has been struggling to find a new broadcaster for Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 that can cover four years between 2021 and 2024. Following the Mediapro fiasco, it had reached an agreement with Canal + for the broadcaster to carry all the rest of the Ligue 1 action for the 2020/21 campaign. However, Canal + had quickly made it known that the situation would change from the following season.

Canal +, the group chaired by Maxime Saada wants to broadcast only what they consider as the two best matches of game week, namely those of Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening in exchange for €370m a year. This is a major problem for the LFP as they want a broadcaster for the other eight matches per week. Many possibilities are being explored by LFP and the ones which are being mentioned are the possibility of negotiating with the streaming media DAZN or the creation by the LFP of its own channel (which would cost subscribers between €10 and €11 per month).

As per L’Equipe (via GFFN), the Qatari channel Bein Sports are reportedly reconsidering its position but under certain conditions. Bein is seeking a discount on their Ligue 2 rights. The LFP wants around €32m annually for the dissemination of two Ligue 2 matches until 2024 but Bein Sports would like to reduce this amount to €20m. In exchange, the channel would ensure the broadcast of the other eight matches not currently broadcast.

Bein Sports also want to reduce the amount it pays for the international TV rights to Ligue 1. Currently, they pay €75m per year. This would be bad news for the LFP since the amount mentioned for international rights is already very low compared to what France’s European neighbours receive. If Bein Sports returns to the game, the LFP hopes to be able to recover between €150m to €200m per season (in addition to the €370m paid by Canal +), taking the annual domestic rights deal to €570m a year. French clubs could lose key players this summer as they look to compensate for the lack of broadcast revenue by listening offers for players. LFP needs to sort this situation as soon as possible to bring stability to French football.

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