Amazon Lands French Soccer TV Rights, Sparking Canal+ Boycott

    • Amazon was granted broadcast rights to Ligue 1 alongside Canal+.
    • Canal+ immediately withdrew from the deal following the announcement.

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Amazon won broadcasting rights to France’s Ligue 1 on Friday but intended to split them with Canal+ for $802 million. 

Now, Canal+ has refused a partnership and will not broadcast Ligue 1.

Amazon will pay $302.6 million per year for domestic rights to eight matches from each round of Ligue 1 and $10.9 million — plus production costs of roughly $30.2 million — for all but two Ligue 2 matches. 

The rest would have been in the hands of Canal+ and BeIN, but as the deal was announced, Canal+ said it would withdraw after failing in a legal bid to block Amazon on Friday. 

“Canal+ regrets the decision of the Ligue de Football Professionnel to accept today the bid of Amazon to the detriment of that of its historical partners Canal+ and BeIN Sports,” Canal+ said.

The French broadcaster was not prepared to share the rights with Amazon since Spanish-Chinese company MediaPro had failed to meet its $1.2 billion per-year contract last season, including one payment for $208 million. 

MediaPro’s rights deal was terminated four months in, but the broadcaster has returned only $121 million.

Amazon has rights to stream NFL games, the English Premier League, and the ATP men’s tennis tour in the UK, while in France, it’s broadcasting the French Open live — the first time the tournament hasn’t been free.

Canal+ may look to bring the process of the auction to court, but this year’s season starts in less than two months. The deals run through 2024.