French football league to launch own channel

France’s professional football league, the LFP, plans to launch its own TV channel, according to its president Frédéric Thiriez.

Thiriez said that the launch date for the new channel had yet to be decided, and that talks would be held with service providers such as Numericable, SFR and Orange.

The LFP also wants to investigate the possibility of launching the channel on digital-terrestrial TV as a pay service.

The LFP has allocated the right to show a League 2 match each Monday for the next two years for €10m a year, but it will not sell the nine other League 2 matches to third-parties.

Thiriez said the LFP’s ambition was to create the conditions that would justify the channel retaining the rights to League 1 matches when its contract with Canal Plus and Orange expires in two years’ time. One of the motivations behind the creation of the channel is uncertainty over whether Orange will be able to deliver exclusive content as part of its triple-play packages after 2012.