L’Équipe report that Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas suggested to his Ligue 1 club-owning colleagues at today’s meeting between the various heads of the French 1st division sides that they come together to sue Qatari-owned broadcaster BeIN Sports.
BeIN are the joint broadcasters of Ligue 1 in France at the moment, but they also have the rights to broadcast France’s 1st division in a multitude of other countries in a separate arrangement, for which they have a contract until 2024 in exchange for €75m a year.
Aulas and his colleagues feel that this contract currently undervalues Ligue 1, with the league recently signing a new domestic deal with Mediapro which comes into effect this summer worth €1.2bn a year. Other LFP presidents view this contract, which was signed before PSG acquired Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, to no longer reflect the international value of the division.
For several months now, the LFP have been trying to negotiate with BeIN to augment the amount the broadcaster is paying in this contract, but the Qataris have so far refused to budge.
Owing to this roadblock, Aulas told Ligue 1 presidents today that they should consider a course of action whereby the league as a whole files a lawsuit against BeIN if they do not show themselves to be more reasonable.
No firm decision has been taken at this stage.