French league invites final bids for rights

Pay-television broadcasters Canal Plus and Al Jazeera were asked by the Ligue de Football Professionnel, the French football league, to present their final offers for the remaining broadcast rights for Ligue 1 on January 23, according to l’Equipe. The rights comprise six live matches per week across three packages for four years, from 2012-13 to 2015-16.

Canal Plus has refused to offer a minimum guarantee for the rights, sticking to a revenue-sharing proposal in which the league would cover production costs. The league is unconvinced that the arrangement could generate €60 million ($76 million) per season, the figure that is estimated by Canal Plus.

Qatar-based Al Jazeera has reportedly presented an offer of €35 million, which is below the league’s asking price.

Last year, Al Jazeera entered the domestic rights market in France by acquiring one Ligue 1 live rights package, while Canal Plus acquired four other packages. The broadcasters paid a combined €510 million per season.

The league, which generated €668 million per season from broadcast and mobile rights sales for the period from 2008-09 to 2011-12, has yet to sell its one package of mobile rights.