BeIN Comes Out On Top In Ligue 1 TV Rights Dispute With Canal+

BeIN Comes Out On Top In Ligue 1 TV Rights Dispute With Canal+

For quite some time, Ligue 1 is having issues with the league broadcasters Canal+ over the media right issues. Both parties knock on the court door. However, the court stated a ruling in favor of Ligue 1. Court ruling means Vivendi-owned Canal+ must keep paying for games it sublicenses from Qatar-based broadcaster. In all the scenarios, BeIN comes out on top in Ligue 1 TV rights dispute with Canal+.

Key Takeaways:

  • Canal+ sub-licenses two games per week from BeIN for €330m a season
  • Court has ruled in favor of BeIN Sports in the Qatar-based broadcaster’s dispute with pay-TV network Canal+ over a sublicensing deal for rights to domestic soccer’s top-flight Ligue 1.
  • Pay-TV networks had sought to hand back rights

The dispute between the two companies was first fallen out over the collapse of the Professional Football League’s (LFP) €800 million a year deal with Spanish media agency Mediapro in December 2020.

Vivendi-owned Canal+ had also called on the LFP to launch a new domestic broadcast tender after the Mediapro deal unraveled.

Canal+ previously sought to hand back its rights for two games per week, which it sublicenses from BeIN and pays €330 million a season.

However, Amazon then acquired the majority of domestic broadcast rights to Ligue 1 for three seasons from 2021/22 to 2023/24. The deal is reportedly worth €250 million annually.

Since then, Canal+ contested the value it is paying for its games. The broadcaster also threatened to boycott its own Ligue 1 agreement as a result of Amazon’s deal, though has continued to show matches.

The Versailles Court of Appeal has now sided with BeIN in its dispute. This means Canal+ will have to continue paying for the games it sublicenses from BeIN. However, If Canal+ does not, the channel will be fined €1 million a day.

BeIN secured a conciliatory procedure from the Nanterre Commercial Court last summer, meaning it would not be required to make the payments itself should the verdict go against it at the Versailles Court of Appeal.