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France Télévisions looking to divest football competitions

French public broadcaster France Télévisions wants to sell off the rights it holds to air top French football competitions ahead of the expiration of its current contract as it comes under renewed pressure to find cost savings, according to local press.

According to the Journal du Dimanche, France Télévisions wants to sell off its rights to air the Coupe de la Ligue, which it shares with pay TV operator Canal+ until 2020 in a €23.9 million a year investment, and the Coupe de France, which it shares with Discovery-owned Eurosport for €22 million a year in a deal set to last until 2022.

The public broadcaster has been under intense pressure to find additional savings of €50 million for the current year.

Possible buyers of France Télévisions’ share of the two competitions include the current co-hosts, Canal+ and Eurosport, and commercial broadcasters M6 and TF1, according to the Journal du Dimanche.

Separately, sports newspaper L’Équipe has reported that a call for applicants for the next auction of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 football rights will be made before the summer. According to the paper, Didier Quilliot, CEO of French football league the LFP, told French Federation executive committee members on Thursday that the call was imminent.

According to L’Équipe, Quillot has indicated that the LFP wants to attract pay TV bids by making additional matches available, including a 13:00 Sunday slot that could appeal to viewers in Asia.