Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, June 15, 2021


French soccer faces fresh turmoil in Amazon TV rights row

PARIS (Reuters) -France’s Canal+ television group said on Friday it would stop showing top division French soccer games in protest at a decision to award some broadcasting rights to Amazon.

The move by Canal+ plunges the French professional league (LFP) back into crisis just as it hoped to resolve problems after the withdrawal of Spanish media rights agency Mediapro, whose contracts had to be re-tendered after it missed payments.

The U.S. streaming giant Amazon emerged on Friday as one of the winners of the new broadcasting deals, picked by the LFP to broadcast the main League 1 matches until 2024 with contracts that help fund France’s soccer clubs.

Canal+ also retained the rights to show the games it was offering customers already.

But in an almost simultaneous statement, Canal+, historically one of the main soccer TV channels in France, said it would no longer show League 1 games. It had picked up some of the broadcasting rights mid-season after Mediapro withdrew.

“Canal+ regrets the French professional league’s decision to pick Amazon’s proposal, to the detriment of its historical partners such as Canal+ and beIN Sports,” it said.

The LFP was due to get 663 million euros ($802 million) from the newly allocated deals, which also include the rights to some second division matches, French newspaper L’Equipe and TV channel RMC Sport reported earlier.

The LFP could not be reached for immediate comment.

(Reporting by Sarah White, Richard Lough, Gwenaelle Barzic and Mathieu Protard; Editing by Alexander Smith)


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