France’s professional football league, the LFP, is launching a new call for offers for the rights to Ligue 1 matches that Spanish broadcaster and producer Mediapro agreed to hand back after failing to make payments agreed at the time of the previous auction.
The LFP has decided to call for bids only for the rights returned by Mediapro, despite pay TV operator Canal+ chief Maxime Saada stating last week that the group would return the rights sub-licensed to it by beIN Sports.
The LFP has yet to make clear how it will auction the returned rights, whether by dividing them into a new set of packages or by auctioning them as a block.
According to BFM avec RMC Sport, which first reported the move, LFP chief Vincent Labrune is hoping to secure around €250 million for Mediapro’s packages and to preserve the terms of the package currently sub-licensed by Canal+, comprising a match on each of Saturday and Sunday. Overall, the site says, Labrune wants to secure €620 million for the totality of rights – seen as something of a tall order in the current conditions.
Canal+ is seen as the only likely bidder for the Mediapro rights, placing it in a strong negotiating position.
Mediapro boss Jaume Roures has meanwhile said he wants to continue producing and airing coverage of Ligue 1 until the end of the current season when a new broadcaster is likely to be in a position to take up the reins – though without making further payments.
Free to air broadcaster M6 has also reportedly said it would like to retransmit coverage of Ligue1 free of charge until the end of the season.
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