French broadcaster accepts later Ligue 2 games

French pay-television broadcaster BeIN Sport has renegotiated a rights deal for domestic coverage of Ligue 2, football’s second division in the country, after accepting a request by the Ligue de Football Professionnel, the French football league, to push back kick-off times on Fridays from 6.45pm to 8pm.

Under the new deal, BeIN Sport will pay the league €9 million ($11.8 million) per year over four years, from 2012-13 to 2015-16, according to the RTL news website.

Under the scrapped four-year deal, BeIN Sport was paying €12 million per year for the rights to show eight games simultaneously at 6.45pm on Fridays, and one other game on Saturday afternoons. BeIN Sport asked for the earlier-than-before kick-off slots so that the action would not clash with the broadcaster’s live coverage of its Friday night match from the top-tier Ligue 1.

The eight Friday fixtures per round have now been pushed back to 8pm and the new kick-off times will take effect from this Friday, when the Ligue 2 campaign resumes following the winter break.

“I want to thank our friends, BeIN Sport, for their goodwill and understanding,” league president Frédéric Thiriez said. “They have behaved as real partners by listening to the fans and the public.”