The LFP, French soccer’s professional governing body, plans to expand the length of its next Ligue 1 domestic media rights cycle to five seasons, it has been reported.
The LFP will issue the next broadcast rights tender for the top-tier Ligue 1 on September 12 and is looking to extend the length of the cycle from four to five campaigns. This news was initially reported by French publication L’Equipe.
Live rights to French men’s club soccer’s top-tier Ligue 1 are currently split between the Amazon Prime Video streaming service and the Canal Plus pay-television heavyweight.
Telecoms operator Free meanwhile holds near-live and delayed rights to all 10 games per week.
The change to the cycle length would need to be approved by numerous separate authorities, including the country’s competition authority, its council of state, and its sports ministry.
The LFP is arguing that a longer domestic rights tie-up for each cycle will provide more stability and visibility for clubs over time.
Of the other top men's soccer leagues in Europe, Spain's LaLiga already sells its domestic rights on a five-year basis, while Italy's Serie A is in the process of attempting to do for the first time now.
The current Ligue 1 domestic contract is worth €624 million ($608.9 million) per season, down from what was originally promised for the cycle by previous rightsholder Mediapro (around €780 million each year).
US-based private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is the holder of a 13% stake in an LFP subsidiary that will market the TV and digital Ligue 1 rights.
The LFP’s president, Vincent Labrune, first revealed last September that the next tender would take place in the latter few months of 2023.
Late last month, the LFP announced a deal with Interregional Sports Group (ISG), the UK-based global agency.
Through the tie-up between the LFP Media division and ISG (which has been owned by TGI Sport and Bruin Capital since 2022), virtual advertising will become available in Ligue 1 from the start of 2023-24.
ISG will use Supponor Air technology across Ligue 1 games to produce at least three distinct broadcast feeds. These will operate across Asia, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).