Mediapro says it plans to launch a football channel in France after it secured the rights to the three principal broadcasting packages for Ligue 1.
It’s a blow to both Canal Plus and BeIN, which has built its reputation on the coverage of French football and is already struggling to maintain subscriber numbers at current levels.
Founded in Barcelona in 1994, Mediapro is now majority-owned by Chinese private equity fund Orient Hontai.
The tender, issued by governing body LFP, covers the period 2020 to 2024.
The auction for the rights reached €1.153 billion, which was almost 60% more than that for the previous contract.
Mediapro, which already holds the rights to the Spanish and Italian championships, picked up the first ten picks of each season and the Sunday evening (9pm) match; the Friday 9pm and Saturday 5pm kick-offs; and a fourth package.
BeIN took the third package consisting of Saturday 9pm matches and Sunday 5pm.
Cable operator Free took the sixth package, for deferred digital transmission rights.
Two smaller lots were not awarded because they failed to reach their reserve price.