The French Football Federation (FFF) national governing body has disregarded first-round bids for domestic broadcast rights to the men’s Coupe de France knockout soccer competition due to their value being deemed insufficient.

Instead, it has been reported that the governing body will hold direct negotiations over the coming months with broadcasters in order to award the Coupe de France rights for the next four seasons (from 2022-23 to 2025-26).

The federation’s current deals for the tournament, with public-service broadcaster France Televisions and the Discovery-owned pan-European Eurosport, expire at the end of the ongoing 2021-22 campaign and are worth on average just under $25 million annually.

Noel Le Graet, the FFF’s president, told the L’Equipe news site yesterday (April 21), that “the [FFF’s] executive committee has authorized me to hold direct negotiations. We set the bar pretty high. Now, we will discuss in the coming months.”

Le Graet has told media recently that the FFF is aiming to generate at least the same financial value from the next Coupe de France cycle as it does currently.

The FFF initially offered two rights packages for the next four-year cycle – one each for the men’s and women’s tournaments. 

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It launched the domestic tenders at the same time as an international broadcast and betting video rights sales process (for the same four-year cycle) got underway.

The deadline for those processes fell yesterday, with sports and entertainment marketing agency IMG the incumbent.

The FFF has opted for the 2022-26 cycle to separate out the domestic and international rights. 

This season’s Coupe de France final, to be contested by Nice and Nantes, will be held on May 7 at the Stade de France stadium in Paris.

The Coupe de la Ligue, France's secondary cup competition, was discontinued after the 2019-20 season in part due to a lack of interest from broadcasters.