Ligue 2 rights go to Mediapro and BeIN for €64m

5 December 2018 | Broadcasting & New Media
Ligue 2 rights go to Mediapro and BeIN for €64m
Canal+ loses out again as French soccer federation trebles second-tier tender.

The French Football League (LFP) has almost trebled the value of its domestic media rights for France’s second tier of club soccer after awarding Mediapro and BeIN Sports two packages apiece in a four-year deal worth €64 million (US$72.9 million).

The broadcasters will share coverage of Ligue 2 between the 2020/21 and 2023/24 seasons, having already bagged domestic rights to Ligue 1, French soccer’s top flight, in a record deal worth an annual €1.15 billion (US$1.33 billion) during the same period.

Mediapro, which will become the majority Ligue 1 rights holder during the 2020 to 24 cycle, has added two lots of live Ligue 2 coverage to its portfolio – including eight fixtures every Saturday (7pm) as well as matches played between Tuesday and Friday.

The Spanish broadcaster acquired three of the seven Ligue 1 rights packages in May, including the league’s top ten fixtures and a choice of 28 further matches.

The group’s entrance into French soccer comes as a blow to Canal Plus after the pay-TV network – which has long been viewed as the home of French soccer – failed to retain a single package during each of the LFP’s Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 tenders.

The channel currently shows the majority of Ligue 1 games ahead of BeIN Sports as part of a pre-2020 deal worth €748.5 million (US$850.1 million) and includes a share of Ligue 2 domestic rights valued at €22 million (US$25 million).

BeIN Sports, which held onto Saturday evening matches (9pm) during Ligue 1’s domestic rights auction in May, was awarded Saturday afternoon rights (3pm), play-off matches, and Monday night fixtures in the latest Ligue 2 contract.

The LFP said that the increase in its Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 tenders is testament to the ‘attractiveness of French professional football’ and plugs a gap on domestic rights ‘with our European neighbours’.

In addition to Mediapro and BeIN Sports, French telecoms provider Iliad also secured a Ligue 1 package for the first time, including near-live highlights of all matches as well as a magazine programme and video-on-demand (VOD) rights.

Two Ligue 1 packages remain unsold after the reserve price was not met and will be put up for sale again before the end of the year.

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