The French professional League of Football, LFP, has launched its TV rights call for bids for the period 2012-2016.

The League would like to at least command the current level of €668 M each year. Yet the sole main player is Canal+ after Orange withdrew from offering TV content. In the previous contract, the French operator, which also plans to sell or partner on its Orange Sport channel, poured €203 million to provide Saturday evening matches.

At the same time, Canal+ has insisted that it would not go farther than the €465 million that it already invested each year. The coming months then appear crucial for French football clubs, despite the confident attitude showed by LFP President Frédéric Thiriez.

To avoid giving too much power to Canal+, LFP had previously announced that it will launch its own channel CFoot from July 2011 on pay-DTT. Another option would be to give more visibility to French championship by extending the League 1 viewing period to three days with matches broadcast at different time schedules from Saturday to Sunday, such as what exists in Spain and UK.

The results of the bid will be known mid-June 2011.