Canal+ is to ask a Paris civil court to delay the tender for the country’s top-flight football rights. The pay-TV company is hoping that the tender for coverage of the French first division for the next four years will be delayed until February 19, when France’s highest administrative court is expected to give a ruling on a legal challenge brought by the operator.
Canal currently has exclusive rights to broadcast the matches in a deal worth €600 million per season. It is contesting plans by the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) to split the rights into different packages that could be sold to multiple operators. The League is also looking to produce its own pictures of the matches and set minimum bidding prices on the packages. The Bundesliga is also proposing to keep control of its pictures in the next rights round, and while the Premier League produces its own coverage, Sky and Setanta are allowed to produce their own versions.
Having consolidated the DTH market through the effective acquisition of TPS, Canal now faces competition from DTT, IPTV and a now consolidated cable market.