The French Commercial Court has ruled that a tender launched in 2010 for rights covering the second tier of football in the country, Ligue 2, was illegal.
The court said that the sales process run by the French football league, the Ligue de Football Professionnel, was “conducted in a discriminatory manner, non-transparent, and not in line with the sport.”
The LFP has been ordered to pay €200,000 ($224,000) to French basic-tier broadcaster Ma Chaîne Sport, which took the case to court. MCS had been claiming €47m in damages.
The French division of international sports broadcaster Eurosport acquired the rights for the best match of the week in the 2010 tender covering four seasons.
The league rejected MCS’s bid of €5m per season for the rights to other games and decided to retain the rights instead, leading to sporadic coverage during the 2010-11 season on the likes of video-sharing website Dailymotion. The league had set a reserve price of €21m per season for the rights, but did not communicate this to the bidders, the court said.