Ligue 1 TV rights: justice referee in favor of beIN Sports in its match with Canal +

Less than 21 hours before the start of the new Ligue 1 season, no one yet knew who from Canal Plus or of beIN Sports was going to broadcast 2 of the 10 matches of each day of the French championship.

But the Nanterre commercial court finally ordered Canal + on Thursday to pay and broadcast these two matches (on Saturday at 17 h and on Sunday at 10 h) from Saturday by virtue of its agreement with beIN Sports for the period 2020 – 2024. The encrypted channel has decided to appeal and denounce in a press release “the consequences of the unfair treatment operated by the Professional Football League”. In this summer soap opera, where the two audiovisual groups have returned the ball to justice, the Football League Professional (LFP), responsible for managing the broadcasting rights of Ligue 1, was waiting to find out who would pay the bill.

At the heart of the decision is the licensing agreement between Canal + and beIN Sports. When sharing the TV broadcasting rights of league 1 in 2018, the Qatari channel had obtained lot 3 for two matches against 332 million euros per year. BeIN Sports then licensed this lot to Canal +, which then had to produce, broadcast and pay for the two matches in question.

Fiasco Mediapro But since the default of payment of the former broadcaster Mediapro in the fall 2020, the cards were redistributed and Amazon was invited to the game. The Professional Football League seems to have found a solvent player by attributing 80% of matches to the e-commerce giant against 250 million euros last June.

Canal + then did not agree to have to pay 332 millions of euros for two matches per day of L1 against 250 millions of euros for Amazon with 8 matches at stake and that of Sunday evening as a bonus. The Vivendi group channel had announced its intention to withdraw from Ligue 1 and suspended its licensing contract with beIN Sports on its own initiative.

Suspension of payment The judicial soap opera should not stop there, however. BeIN Sports has also assigned the LFP to the judicial tribunal of Paris with a view to having the “lapse” of lot 3 recognized, in a substantive procedure which does not will not be open until November.

Like Canal +, the group led by the president of Paris Saint-Germain, Nasser Al Khelaïfi, judges the amount of this discriminatory and abusive lot since the attribution of 80% of encounters to Amazon against 250 millions of annual euros only.

“To defend its interests”, the Qatari broadcaster has launched a conciliation procedure with the Nanterre commercial court, which risks suspending payments while renegotiating the amount of TV rights due by beIN. The court decision rendered this Thursday thus makes the short-term affairs of the clubs and the LFP League which have more hope of being paid quickly by Canal + than with beIN Sports.