Canal+ files complaint against BeIN Sport
Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 11-07-2013

French pay-TV channel Canal+ is filing a complaint for unfair competition against Qatari sport pay-tv channel BeIN Sport to the Paris Court of Commerce.

According to the BFM Business website, Canal+ estimates that Al Jazeera's affiliate is about to "lose more than 300 million in year 1".

The Vivendi subsidiary thinks beIN Sport practises unfair competition as, as an enterprise in France, it is submitted to business objectives while facing the challenge of a channel owned by a foreign state like Qatar which doesn't have the same restraint.

Launched a year ago, beIN Sport is also suspected of being sold at a price lower than it is effectively worth.

"Its 11 subscription fee is far from covering all sport rights acquisitions," BFM calculates.

The 1.2 million subscribers already signed up wouldn't bring revenues higher than a 100 million each year, while the beIN Sport grid cost is estimated at between 300 and 330 million each year, including 150 million just for the French Ligue 1.

Such figures don't include recent rights acquisitions or spending on publicity and promotional operations to get new subscribers.

According to analysts, beIN Sport will reach a total of five million subs, which is seen as an unrealistic target.