Al Jazeera in exclusive negotiations for French football

Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera has enterted into exclusive negotiations with the French professional football league, the LFP, to acquire the remaining major package of TV rights for Ligue 1 matches.

Al Jazeera is bidding for a package of six weekly pay-per-view matches. The broadcaster already has the rights to two weekly matches. L’Equipe newspaper has reported that Al Jazeera is offering €240 million over the 2012-16 period for the rights.

Pay TV broadcaster Canal Plus airs the best Sunday evening match and eight other PPV games on its Foot Plus service, with about a million subscribers.

A package of mobile TV rights has yet to be allocated. Orange has been seen as the likely buyer, but has yet to make an offer that is satisfactory to the LFP. It has been rumoured that the telco may sell its Orange Sport TV channel to Al Jazeera, which lacks a channel in France on which to air football games.

Al Jazeera has also already acquired rights to the majority of European Champions League games between now and 2015.

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