Mediapro snaps up leftover Ligue 1 rights and Trophee des Champions
By Simon Ward
Mediapro France, an arm of the Spanish sports rights and production company, has today won additional rights to French soccer’s Ligue 1 for the 2020-21 season onwards.
The LFP, the French professional league, announced that Mediapro, which is launching a new soccer channel in the country next year, had been awarded package 5, comprising three multiplexes of live games on match weeks 19, 37 and 38, the relegation play-offs and the Trophee des Champions, the annual match between the Ligue 1 champions and Coupe de France winners, in a four-year deal.
It has also been granted package 7, which includes Ligue 1 magazine programmes from Monday to Thursday.
The two packages have been bought for €18 million ($19.9 million) per season, according to French sports newspaper L'Equipe.
Packages 5 and 7 had reserve prices of €15 million per season and €8 million per season respectively when they went unsold in the initial auction conducted in May 2018.
The new deals consolidate Mediapro’s position at the dominant broadcaster of French soccer in the next commercial cycle, as it had already bought three main Ligue 1 packages, comprising eight live matches each week, in deals worth €780 million per season.
PayTV’s BeIN Sports and telecoms group Free each picked up one package.
However, BeIN and rival Canal Plus recently announced plans for a distribution and sub-licensing deal in which the latter would take on BeIN’s two live games in each round of fixtures, which the Qatar-backed broadcaster bought for €330 million per season.
Prior to today, the LFP had generated a total of €1.153 billion per season from Ligue 1 rights, a 59-per-cent rise on the current agreements with BeIN and Canal Plus.
The Ligue 2 rights for 2020-21 to 2023-24 went to Mediapro, which will show eight live games per week, and BeIN, which will show two, in deals worth €64 million per season, nearly three times the annual figure of €22 million committed at present by BeIN and Canal Plus, also in four-year deals.
Mediapro added to its French soccer portfolio this week by securing rights to 266 games per season from Uefa's second-tier Europa League and new third-tier Europa Conference League from 2021-22 to 2023-24.
This was some consolation after it missed out on the rights to the top-tier Champions League won by BeIN and Canal Plus (with TF1 to show the finals) in deals valued at €375 million per annum.