French league cup domestic rights bids due in today

Final bids for the domestic rights for the Coupe de la Ligue, the French football league cup, for the 2012-13 to 2015-16 period were due today.

Public-service broadcaster France Télévisions, which is currently paying €10.5 million ($13.5 million) per year for the exclusive rights, from 2009-10 to 2011-12, has traditionally been the only bidder.

L’Equipe reports that the emergence of Qatari pay-television broadcaster Al Jazeera in France could generate increased competition. It said rival pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus might bid for the league cup rights to boost its football portfolio following the loss of the main package of Uefa Champions League rights, in 2012-13 to 2014-15, to Al Jazeera last year. However, Al Jazeera’s director of French operations, Charles Bietry, has said the broadcaster is not interested in the league cup rights.

The Ligue de Football Professionnel, the French football league, launched the tender for the league cup rights on December 9.