Canal Plus furious at LFPs decision to bring forward bidding

A row has flared up between French pay TV operator Canal Plus and the country’s professional football league, the LFP, over the latter’s decision to bring forward its call for bids for the next round of rights from the autumn to this month.

The LFP is expected to open the bidding for the rights to the 2012-16 seasons by May 15. The move has infuriated Canal Plus, giving rise to reports that the pay TV operator could even boycott the bidding process, widely interpreted as an attempt to put pressure on the LFP. Canal Plus has indicated that it will not increase its financial contribution to the league.

LFP president Frédéric Thiriez said that it is in the interests of the clubs to know as soon as possible how much money will be available to them. He also said that it was in the interest of Canal Plus to be able to tell its subscribers that they would be able to view Ligue 1 games for the next few years.

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