Five days before the broadcast of the Championship, the two channels face each other again this Monday at the Nanterre commercial court, around their sub-license contract for the broadcasting of two L1 matches.
A crazy week awaits French football. Canal + and beIN Sports clash again this Monday, August 2 at the Nanterre Commercial Court in the dispute over the rights of Ligue 1 football. The President of the Court must determine whether the encrypted channel can temporarily terminate its sub-contract. license of 332 million euros annually with the channel of Qatari origin for the broadcasting of the two matches of L1, resulting from the famous lot 3.
During the hearing this afternoon, the Professional Football League (LFP) will ask to join the procedure between beIN and Canal +, according to information from the Figaro. The League warned the two channels on Sunday. “The goal for the League is to ensure that Canal + respects its sub-license agreement with beIN, namely the payment, production and broadcasting of the two matches of lot 3.», Explains a source familiar with the matter. Because five days before the resumption of the Championship, the outcome remains uncertain for the two football matches on August 7 and 8 (Troyes-PSG on Saturday at 9 p.m. and Metz-Lille on Sunday at 5 p.m.).
In the event that Canal + would lose to beIN, – and would therefore be forced to honor its sublicense contract – the LFP would like to impose penalties on the encrypted channel if the latter refuses to broadcast the matches or to settle the bill. at beIN. “We are talking about an amount around 1.5 million euros per day”, specifies a source.
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Several scenarios on the table
At the end of the day last Thursday, the commercial court of Nanterre had decided to freeze until the hearing of Monday, August 2, the request of Canal + to temporarily terminate its sublicense contract with beIN. The latter had seized the court for “unlawful termination“. A few days earlier, the encrypted channel of the Vivendi group had sent a letter to Youssef Al-Obaidly, the CEO of beIN Media Group, to terminate their contract signed at the end of 2019, based on the “clause 3G“. The clause specifies that if “Canal + buys the football rights from beIN, beIN must do everything in its power to ensure that Canal + can dispose of it in the best possible way», Sums up someone close to the case.
Faced with the conciliation procedure that protects beIN in the short term, the League changes tactics and supports the Qatari channel in an attempt to enforce its sublicense contract with Canal +
However, since mid-June, and the allocation by the LFP of the broadcasting of 80% of L1 matches to Amazon for 250 million euros from the 2021-2022 season, Canal + had not stopped asking beIN to sue the League for “distortion of competition” and “abuse of dominant position. What beIN had refused, until the commercial court of Nanterre suggested it do so on Friday July 23, in its decision on the dispute between the two chains. Indeed, beIN Sports had finally initiated proceedings on Tuesday against the LFP, with the Civil Court under article 11.95. Faced with all these elements, the president of the commercial court of Nanterre should make a firm decision today.
A bill of 56 million to settle
Last week, the League began by summoning its contractual partner beIN Sports to the Paris civil court so that he formally undertakes to pay for the two matches of lot 3, as well as to produce and broadcast them if Canal + does not. On August 5, beIN is supposed to pay the LFP a first amount of 56 million euros.
But to avoid having to settle the bill alone if Canal + fails, the Qatari channel announced during the hearing last Friday that it had placed itself under the protection of the Nanterre commercial court as part of a conciliation procedure. . Judicial administrator Hélène Bourbouloux, well known in the French restructuring community, has been appointed as conciliator. According to our information, she has already met for the first time with La LFP.
Faced with this conciliation procedure which protects beIN in the short term, the League thus changes tactics and supports the Qatari channel in an attempt to enforce its sublicense contract with Canal +. It remains to know the verdict of the hearing on Monday to understand the different scenarios still on the table in the endless series of TV rights of Ligue 1.