The saga (or the sketch) of French football TV rights triggered by the Mediapro fiasco continues.

This Friday, justice authorized Canal + not to pay BeIN sports for the two L1 matches that the Qatari channel allows it to operate.

Total victory for Canal?

Not completely, since BeIN could demand payment if it sues the Professional Football League (LFP).

Which she will probably do. 

While the Ligue 1 championship resumes in two weeks, it is impossible to know where these two matches (per day) will be broadcast.

For weeks, Canal + has been trying to leave L1 and wants at all costs to avoid paying 332 million euros to BeIn as provided for in the contract signed in 2018. 

A judgment that does not decide 

In July, Canal + had not paid a first payment of 500,000 euros, which greatly irritated BeIn.

The Qatari channel then sued Canal before the Nanterre commercial court to obtain its money.

And as we said above, the judgment rendered this Friday does not really settle things. 

"What the court says is that Canal may not pay as long as beIN has not taken legal action against the LFP, but BeIN has no obligation at all to broadcast the matches of lot 3", analysis for AFP a source close to one of the two broadcasters who had access to the decision.

Canal will, however, have to pay and broadcast the two L1 matches as soon as beIN has taken legal action against the LFP, said this source.

BeIN could attack the LFP

Suddenly, the Qatari channel has already indicated in a press release that it is "studying" the legal actions to be taken while regretting that French football must "still face such uncertainty a few weeks before the season begins. restart ”.

"Clearly, they will obviously follow the recommendations of the court and continue the LFP", assures a source close to one of the two broadcasters.

Asked by AFP, Canal + did not follow up.

The defense of Canal had raised Tuesday, during the hearing before the commercial court, a clause binding the two broadcasters stipulating that beIN sports had to initiate legal proceedings if Canal requested it.

Legal brawl

Following the failure of Mediapro, the encrypted channel had repeatedly asked beIN to sue the LFP in order to force it to put lot 3 back into play during the last call for tenders in mid-June, which the Qatari channel never did.

Canal + suddenly seized the court alone twice but was rejected each time by the commercial court and the Competition Authority.

"It may be necessary one day to wonder why beIN, whose boss is also a member of the board of directors of the LFP (Nasser Al-Khelaïfi), has never acceded to the demands of Canal Plus", wonders a source close to the case.

Amazon sows discord

In the last tender in mid-June, Amazon won 80% of L1 matches for 250 million euros, a decision considered unacceptable by Canal and which led it to announce its intention to withdraw from the L1.

“You have a broadcaster who pays nearly 70 million euros more than another to only have two matches a day.

It is an untenable position, ”summed up a source close to the two broadcasters.

The LFP on the attack? 

"Canal's strategy is complicated because it now places its former ally in an uncomfortable position with the LFP", summarizes a source close to sports authorities.

It is indeed technically BeIN sports which must pay the money of lot 3 to the LFP.

A first payment of 55 million euros is also expected on August 5, the day before the start of the season.

The LFP has not commented on this new legal twist, but according to a source close to the instance, "it does not refrain itself from summoning BeIN" to be sure of being paid.

In short, BeIn attacks Canal and should attack the LFP, which could attack BeIN in return.

A series ultimately much more thrilling than many Ligue 1 matches. 

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  • Sport

  • TV rights

  • League 1

  • BeIN Sport

  • Canal Plus

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