French league to launch own channel

By Julian Clover
May 11, 2010 11.29 UK

La Ligue de football professionnel (LFP) has announced plans to launch its own dedicated pay-TV channel. The new service that will carry matches from both Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 will run alongside the existing contracts with Orange and Canal Plus, though is bound to limit their exclusivity to a certain extent.

Although the arrival of Orange on the French TV market has been able to net an annual €668 million for the league, recent comments by new Orange boss Stéphane Richard that he wants to reduce the cost of the sports rights, have led to the obviously defensive move.

Negotiations with potential distributors, which would logically include both Orange and Canal plus the cable operator Numericable, are underway. However, it seems unlikely that the channel will launch before the start of the new season.