France’s professional football league, the LFP, has expressed confidence in the plans of Mediapro, which last year acquired the bulk of Ligue 1 rights for the 2020-24 seasons, after the Spanish broadcaster and producer’s co-founder Jaume Roures outlined his plans for a new football channel at the LFP’s general meeting.
Amid scepticism in some quarters – not least Canal+, the principal loser from Mediapro’s successful bid for the rights – Roures reaffirmed that Mediapro would launch a dedicated service that would be available for about €25 a month, with a target of around 3.5 million subscribers.
Rourers said he was open to distribution agreements with all partners, including streaming services as well as established pay TV providers Canal+ and Orange.
Julen Bergeaud, the former Eurosport executive appointed to head up the new channel, said that Mediapro’s service would introduce a number of new features such as doubling the number of matches aired in 4K, introducing new cameras and immersive viewing experiences.
Bergeaud said that of the 76 matches to be aired by Canal+ following this week’s deal between the pay TV incumbent and BeIN Sport, which acquired the lot of rights not taken by Mediapro in the bidding last year, 21 would be co-aired by Mediapro.
Mediapro has reportedly committed to pay around €800 million a year for the bulk of Ligue 1 rights for the next three seasons, along with a similar portion of Ligue 2 rights.