Kosmos, the sports and media investment group founded by Spanish soccer star Gerard Pique, and Enjoy Television, the Madrid-based rights company, have reportedly acquired the rights to broadcast French soccer’s top two tiers, Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, in Spain.
The agreement will run for the next three seasons until the end of the 2023-24 campaign, according to 2Playbook.
It also suggested that Kosmos and Enjoy intend to sub-licence the rights to a television channel or OTT service and that they are “finalising the sub-licence negotiations”.
The companies will replace Movistar, the pay-television operator owned by telecoms giant Telefónica, which had the rights to competitions organised by the LFP, the French professional league, during the 2020-21 season.
Movistar also had the rights to Ligue 1 for the 2019-20 season but, prior to that, they were not being fully exploited following a decision in 2018 by the then-rights-holder BeIN Sports to close down its channel in Spain, although an OTT service remained.
Since Movistar’s contract expired this May, it has not been clear when, or if, the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 rights for coverage in Spain would be picked up.
The recent arrival of Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi at French giants Paris Saint-Germain after over 20 years playing for Spanish heavyweights Barcelona, however, will have piqued interest in Spain and is likely a factor in Kosmos and Enjoy being willing to take on the risk without a broadcaster immediately in place.
Elsewhere, Kosmos has a controlling stake in FC Andorra, of Spanish soccer's third-tier Primera División RFEF, and is helping to bankroll the revamped Davis Cup men's tennis national teams tournament.