SBC News Ligue 1 rights remain uncertain as dedicated streaming platform proposed

Ligue 1 rights remain uncertain as dedicated streaming platform proposed

With talks still ongoing as the likes of Amazon, DAZN and BeIN Sports consider buying domestic media rights for Ligue 1, the French Professional Football League (LFP) is now considering launching a dedicated streaming platform. 

The creation of a direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming service is being held as a contingency plan by the LFP with a broadcast deal yet to be agreed upon for the upcoming season. This would mark an unprecedented move by a major European football league if the streaming platform was to be created. 

Whilst other leagues across Europe have pondered the idea, it has quickly been dispelled after a surge in valuation for sports broadcasting rights presents more reason for leagues to partner with broadcasters. Ultimately, such deals bring in more annual revenue. 

However, French sports outlet L’Équipe anticipates that a dedicated Ligue 1 streaming service is forecasted to generate upwards of €518m per season through subscription fees, which would cost consumers between €25-€30 per month. 

This would see all 306 Ligue 1 matches held on the streaming platform, with the league also expected to make additional revenue via advertising if it comes into fruition. 

Furthermore, if created, the DTC platform could also be platformed on various other streaming services, such as DAZN, to bring in more revenue and increase its visibility worldwide. 

L’Équipe adds that the Ligue 1 streaming service would be under LFP Media and could attract an early two million subscriber base if created in time for the 2024/25 season, which is fast approaching. 

The lack of development in talks with incumbent broadcast partners has left the LFP considering DTC plans as no deal has been set in place, with the first gameweek of the upcoming Ligue 1 season set to kick-off on 18 August. 

But talks have stalled between the French football organisation and potential suitors reportedly due to the asking price for the next broadcast rights cycle. 

LFP President Vincent Labrune believed last year that Ligue 1 would be looking for a yearly asking price in excess of €200m per season in the hope of a multi-year deal that will total out to €1bn. 

However, last October, the LFP ended the formal auction process with potential partners as it is believed that broadcasters did not see the same value in the league as Labrune had anticipated. 

The last broadcast deal was worth €582m from 2021-2024. The agreement saw Amazon Prime Video and Canal+ share rights for Ligue 1 matches, with Amazon gaining 304 and Canal+ receiving 76 each season. 

Broadcasters may be hesitant to match Labrune’s asking price due to the recent departures of some of football’s biggest players from the league. 

Kylian Mbappé recently joined Real Madrid, whilst Neymar Jr. and Lionel Messi both left PSG last summer, representing three of football’s most recognisable and commercially attractive stars all leaving within the space of a year. 

With such challenges seemingly still in the way for the LFP, a DTC streaming platform for Ligue 1 may be the quickest and most seamless way to secure a platform for French football fans in time for the upcoming 2024/25 season.

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