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Soccer - 18 Oct 2021
Spanish commercial broadcasting group Mediaset Espana has acquired rights to five Paris Saint-Germain games in French soccer’s Ligue 1 after striking a deal with Kosmos, the sports and media investment group that holds rights to the league in Spain.
Mediaset’s coverage will begin this Sunday with PSG’s clash against arch-rivals Marseille in ‘Le Classique’.
The group will air the match through its free-to-air commercial broadcaster Cuatro and OTT platform.
Details of the other four games it will show are yet to be released.
This will mark the second deal between Mediaset and Kosmos for Ligue 1 coverage in Spain after the broadcaster also bought rights to show Lionel Messi’s PSG debut against Reims in late August on its free-to-air channel Telecinco.
Kosmos, which was founded by Spanish soccer star Gerard Pique and Enjoy Television, the Madrid-based rights company, acquired the rights to Ligue 1 and the second-tier Ligue 2 in Spain in a three-year deal until the end of the 2023-24 campaign.
The two parties had always intended to sub-license the rights to a television channel or OTT service and have been involved in negotiations since picking up the rights.
As well as Telecinco, Kosmos and Enjoy also sub-licensed rights to PSG’s clash against Reims to Twitch.
Meanwhile, Qatar Sports Investments, a unit of the country’s government that owns PSG, has pumped €171 million ($199 million) into the French giants to aid their recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
PSG suffered a loss of €125 million in the 2019-2020 season and project a deficit of €200 million for the 2020-21 financial year.
According to French outlet Sportune, QSI has issued 50 million new shares that are priced at €3.50 each. Following this move, the club's share capital now amounts to €511 million.
This represents the second capital increase carried out by the Qatari sovereign wealth fund, with the first occurring in the 2017-2018 season, when QSI injected €316 million into the club to finance the purchases of Neymar for a world record €222 million and Kylian Mbappé for around €140 million.
QSI has owned all PSG’s shares since 2012, having first bought a controlling 70 per cent stake in 2011.
In other Ligue 1 developments, the LFP, the French league, has confirmed that the country’s top-flight will be reduced to 18 teams from the 2023-24 season.
The league unveiled details of a new competition format, with no playoff system to be adopted in the 2022-23 season.
Instead, the bottom four teams from Ligue 1 will be relegated to Ligue 2, while the top two teams from the second-tier will be promoted to the top-flight.
It was officially announced back in June that Ligue 1 will be reduced from 20 teams to 18 after 97 per cent voted in favour of the move at an LFP general assembly.
In a statement, the LFP said: "The change in the format of the competitions is the first step in a more comprehensive reform to promote Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 in anticipation of the next round of commercialisation of post-2024 TV rights."