Canal + has secured the two key packages of domestic soccer rights to the French club soccer championship, Ligue 1 in a record round of rights sales.
The pay-TV network has taken lots one and two of seven rights bundles issued by the Ligue de Football Professionel (LFP), for matches played from the 2016/17 season until the end of 2019/20, meaning it retains its place as the league’s lead broadcaster.
The deal gives Canal+ three high-profile matches in each round of fixtures, with games played on Friday evenings, Saturday afternoons and Sunday evenings. It will also continue to air its magazine programmes, Jour de Foot and Canal Football Club.
Al-Jazeera-owned BeIN Sport, whose portfolio of French rights includes live Uefa Champions soccer, has taken lots three, four, five and six. It will show seven matches live in each round, the three major games on a tape delay and highlights.
It will also carry ‘multiplex’ coverage of games in week 19, which is the final round before the mid-winter break, and the penultimate two rounds of each season.
LFP will make €748.5 million in total from its 2016-20 deals – of which €22 million is for second-tier Ligue 2 rights - up from €607 million in the current cycle to 2015/16.
The tender was brought forward by 20 months in order to aid medium-term planning for French clubs and capitalise on intense competition between Canal+ and BeIN Sport.