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Ligue 1 without TV broadcaster ahead of 2024/25 season

The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) are facing a dilemma in the next few months, as they are yet to find a TV broadcaster following weeks of unsuccessful talks. Top flight French football start on the weekend of August 16, 2024.

beIN Sports deal falls through

It has been a tumultuous few years for Ligue 1 in terms of selling their broadcasting rights. The sale of the rights to Mediapro in 2018 instead of Canal+, which had shown Ligue 1 matches since 1984, started a mountain of issues. This was made worse when Mediapro hit financial problems in 2020, forcing their contract to be terminated by the LFP. There have been various legal disputes between Canal+ and beIN Sports since concerning a sublicensing agreement, resulting in Canal+ pulling out of discussions for the next broadcasting contract.

With less than three months to go before the start of the Ligue 1 season, the LFP have still not sold the broadcasting rights for the next five-year cycle. Originally, Vincent Labrune, president of the LFP, was optimistic about selling the broadcasting rights in an auction for a fee of around £1 billion per season. No bids were made during this auction, and as a result, they are yet to find a broadcasting partner, following failed talks with various TV companies.

It was thought that a partnership would be formed with BeIN Sport, but this didn’t come to fruition. The Qatari network was reluctant to agree to a deal with Ligue 1 due to fears that their investment would surpass £3 billion during the course of the five-year contract with the LFP.

New strategy to try and overcome TV broadcaster issue

Due to the difficulties of selling the broadcasting rights, the LFP have considered making a new TV channel entirely dedicated to Ligue 1, along with internet providers Bouygues, SFR, and Orange. It is worth noting, though, that the price for the rights has significantly dropped to €500m, half the original fee touted by Labrune earlier in the 2023/24 season. There are no guarantees that this ambitious plan will come to fruition, and with the upcoming season edging closer, the LFP are in a race against time to find a broadcasting partner.

TV broadcaster
PSG have won Ligue 1 three years in a row. (Photo by Tnani Badreddine/DeFodi Images) – Photo by Icon sport

Will Murray

Freelance football journalist. Experience writing for When Saturday, Comes, Goalkeeper.com, Elite Scholars and Total Football Analysis. Recently finished an MA in Sport Journalism at the University of Brighton. Long-time season ticket holder at the two-time European Champions Nottingham Forest.

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