June 15, 2021

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The shadow of Amazon hangs over the French football championship

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Dilemma in sight for the Professional Football League (LFP). According to our information, Amazon could finally make a credible offer on the batch of matches of the French football championship that Mediapro had to give up last fall. That is to say 80% of the meetings.

The e-commerce giant, which has put itself on the radar of French sports fans by broadcasting a part of Roland-Garros, has intensified its contacts in recent days with the LFP. If an offer is not yet on the table, Canal + would take very seriously the hypothesis of an irruption of the e-commerce group which relies on video content to increase its number of customers to its Amazon Prime offer.

Even if a large part of lying poker is engaged, some raise the possibility that Jeff Bezos’ company is betting a little less 300 million euros per year.

The championship resumes in August and currently has no broadcaster. The French football body, which has opted for over-the-counter discussions since the failed auction in February this year, may therefore have to decide very quickly between two solutions when everyone thought there was no no other alternative to the ongoing discussions with Canal and BeIN Sports…

A council of the League will take place Friday in the wake of a decision of the long-awaited Competition Authority on this file.

Two options

On the one hand, the LFP should assess the offer of Canal + in partnership with BeIN mentioned by “L’Equipe” which implies that Canal + would recover the Saturday and Sunday matches while the Qatari channel would create a dedicated channel for the other matches .

According to our information, the offer would indeed reach 600 million with a variable part depending on a threshold of the number of subscribers recruited and could even exceed this amount if higher objectives were reached.

On the other hand, if the Amazon offer materializes, the LFP could bring in the American hoping to keep the 330 million euros of the batch of BeIN operated by Canal + and the 50 million that Free pays to broadcast extracts of matches. slightly delayed in digital.

Amazon did not wish to comment. His sports boss, Alex Green, has recently insisted in the French press that such an investment was not essential for his company.

The American giant had participated in the unsuccessful call for tenders in February, but for a “very low” amount, underlines a source. And his strategy so far has been more to focus on a few flagship games rather than volume. And the broadcast of Roland Garros on its Amazon Video platform may not have met with the expected success. It remains to be seen whether the American giant goes well from an expression of interest to a real offer.

Decision of the Competition Authority

If the clubs are waiting for the decision of the Competition Authority, it is because it could force the League to put back into play the lot of matches awarded to BeIN in 2018, even if this is not necessarily the option. the most anticipated.

But if the Competition Authority does not force the League to put this BeIN Canal + lot back up for auction and the LFP decides to award the old Mediapro lot to Amazon, a new showdown would start with the channel. charge of the Vivendi group.

Indeed, this would mean that Canal would pay 28 best posters per year 330 million while Amazon would pay 80% of the matches for less. Canal + could refuse to pay or protest in court, which would not do the clubs after the Mediapro fiasco.

LFP divided

Amazon has in any case proved with the takeover of MGM for 8.5 billion dollars that feeding its Prime Video platform was essential. Prime subscribers, primarily an expedited delivery service, spend more on the e-commerce platform than others. The Mediapro failure and the impact of the health crisis provide an opportunity to broadcast the French championship for less than in previous auctions.

Amazon would undoubtedly have a little less than 10 million subscribers to Prime in France, for around 50 euros per year of subscription to the service. While he can afford to view the purchase of the championship as a marketing cost, he is being watched by authorities around the world for distortion of competition.

As for the LFP, it remains divided and unpredictable. Some clubs believe that it is time to turn the page on arm wrestling with Canal + but others want to bring out alternative solutions so as not to depend on a channel that does not hesitate to say that the French championship is worth less than its equivalent in Italy or Germany …

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