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Amazon wins rights to Ligue 1, sparks Canal Plus protest

Canal Plus has refused to broadcast the two matches a week it has been awarded, stating the deal is detrimental to the league's historic partners

Amazon Prime Video in France has won the rights to broadcast eight football matches a week from the country’s Ligue 1 in a deal reportedly worth €250 million a year.

The league announced plans to split the rights between Amazon and Canal Plus, with the French broadcaster picking up two matches a week as part of the deal which begins at the start of the new season and runs for three years.

However, following Ligue 1’s announcement, Canal Plus said it would refuse to broadcast matches. In a statement, it said the new deal was detrimental to the league’s historical partners, Canal Plus and beIN Sports. “Canal Plus will not, therefore, be broadcasting Ligue 1,” added the statement.

BeIN had submitted a bid for 80 per cent of Ligue 1 matches and all Ligue 2 games, but instead was awarded two Ligue 2 matches per round at a cost of €30 million a season. Amazon will pay €9 million, plus production costs, estimated at €25 million, for the rest.

Speaking about its win, Alex Green, managing director of Prime Video Sport Europe, said: “Ligue 1 is the country’s most watched domestic football competition and we’re incredibly happy to bring every club and the most thrilling matches to Prime Video each week for the next three seasons.”