Football TV rights: why the Anglo-Saxons are interested in Ligue 1

Could it be that Ligue 1 will soon be broadcast in original version with French subtitles? A priori no, but the fact remains that the three broadcasters who appeared during the call for tenders on Monday were one English, DAZN, and the other two Americans, Amazon and Discovery. If none has made a sufficiently high offer to win a lot, does the presence of these three groups herald an Anglo-Saxon appetite for Ligue 1, which will become thicker in the future?

“What is interesting is that in the absence of offers from Canal + and BeIN Sports, we are only in the presence of international players, which Mediapro was already, underlines Pierre Maes, rights consultant TV. I don’t think business is specifically Americanizing. Dazn is British, Discovery is certainly American but bought Eurosport from TF 1 in 2015. And for Amazon, also American, I would speak more of global player. As for their simultaneous presence, I think it is a simple conjunction of circumstances. “

“I do not feel in either side of a concerted strategy, says another specialist in TV rights, preferring to remain anonymous. At this point, it doesn’t sound like a massive strategy on their part. For this call for tenders, it was a matter of an opportunity, to see if they could not make a move, enter a lot with an offer at very low cost. If they have to come to the French market, it will be much more anticipated, prepared and marketed. “

On the other hand, the arrival of these important groups on a call for tenders of the magnitude of that of the LFP reflects the digitalization of television on the way.

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“It is not insignificant that these are players in the OTT (Editor’s note: broadcast “over the top”, via an app, without box, or compulsory subscription) which respond to this call for tenders, explains our observer. Canal + having cleaned up the Pay TV in France, it makes sense that its main competitors are now digital broadcasters. We can even imagine that, in a few years, there will only be digital players left on the market. In the meantime, it turns out that the world’s largest platforms were launched a long time ago in the United States and have acquired a market maturity which gives them great financial power. “And therefore allows these platforms alone to place in their envelope offers of several tens of millions of euros.

The LFP can’t be difficult

“But this is a general movement and, in my opinion, a whole set of OTT offers will be launched, predicted our observer. The OTT is a market which is starting up and will be deployed very quickly. Through paid apps, such as those already known, Netflix, Amazon, etc., which will replace traditional television. But many new players will emerge, of all sizes and types: local, regional, national or international. Canal + is also distributed via MyCanal, consumable in OTT, as well as Eurosport with Eurosport Player. “

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In its situation, the LFP will not be difficult. It does not matter where Prince Charming comes from and what nature, as long as he has the necessary funds and is solvent.

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