’Canal Plus wants to kill French football’ – Montpellier’s president desperate amid Ligue 1’s broadcasting rights turmoil

The 2024–25 Ligue 1 season will kick off in a little more than two months, although the LFP has not yet secured a broadcaster – a precarious situation that could have dramatic effects on the future of French football. 

A few days ago, RMC Sport revealed that Ligue 2 champions Auxerre couldn’t finalise a deal with Ajaccio over the transfer of last season’s revelation, Tim Jabol-Folcarelli, due to the unknown situation surrounding the broadcasting rights in France. While Vincent Labrune, head of the LFP, wanted to garner at least €1bn, it is expected that the value has halved. However, even at €500m, previously interested broadcasters such as Canal Plus, beIN Sport, Dazn and Amazon Prime Video have yet to submit a bid. A situation that is becoming more and more alarming, as the season kicks off in just over two months. 

‘I’m not a club they’re interested in‘

In an interview with L’Équipe, Montpellier president Laurent Nicollin underlines his exasperation towards the situation and targets Canal Plus as one of the reasons for this failure: “Apparently, Canal Plus wants to kill French football. So be it. If that doesn’t kill it, it at least weakens it and hurts it,” he said. The head of Foot Unis, the union of professional clubs, isn’t mincing his words and is calling for a reaction from the French channel. “I’ve never spoken to them. I’m not a club they’re interested in. They’ve never had the respect or the decency to talk to me. There are several clubs like that. We could have talked and moved forward on certain issues. At some point in life, you put your ego and your self-esteem in your pocket and look to the future.” 

While some clubs might be financially more stable than others and don’t solely rely on the broadcasting rights to do business in the transfer market, Montpellier and others aren’t in that situation, and Nicolin admitted that “as of today, there are zero euros from broadcasting rights. So for the moment, there are no transfers.

GFFN l Grégoire Devaux  

More European Football News