International TV rights of France’s football championship has been acquired by pan-Arabic channel Al-Jazeera after French Professional League LFP, gave preference to the Qatar channel instead and not to Canal+.

Up to now, French championship TV rights have always been owned by Canal+ subsidiary Canal+ Events, which commercialised them abroad.

The new deal, thought to be in the region of €195 million, is viewed as unfair by Canal+ Events under whose management revenues tripled. The contract also coincides with the launch of the call for tenders for League 1 French TV rights.

Al-Jazeera has already bought rights to the French championship for the season 2012-2016. Explaining why it made its decision, LFP’s President Frédéric Thiriez said: “Al-Jazeera grants us a worldwide exposure and its acquisition bid was much higher than the two others received.”