Football auction unsettles Canal+

28 June 2011

France’s Canal+ has won the rights to show two Ligue 1 games a week from 2012 to 2016 for €420 million per year. A surprise (and skilful) bid by Qatar’s Al Jazeera won two lower profile games for €90 million per year

We believe Al Jazeera could, at best, reach EBITDA break even by the end of the four year licence. Merging with CFoot and Orange sport would help

No bidders met the reserve price for the package of lower tier six games, but Canal+ would be well advised to bid in order to avoid the strategic risk of leaving competitors with most Ligue 1 games. Without this package, Canal+ faces limited subscriber and ARPU erosion balanced by €45 million savings on the current licence

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