Canal Plus has acquired exclusive broadcasting rights to England’s Premier League soccer matches which will kick off in August 2019.
The deal will give Canal Plus subscribers access to the 380 Premier League games during the 2020/21 season across multiple territories in Europe. The value of the deal is in the 115 million range, according to French sports newspaper L’Equipe. The rights for 2016-2019 are currently owned by Altice, Patrick Drahi’s debt-ridden company, who had scooped them from Canal Plus in 2015.
Acquiring England’s Premier League soccer matches is a major coup for Canal Plus, whose core strategy has been built on sports rights, movies and premium series.
Canal Plus recently lost broadcast rights to French Premier League soccer matches for 2020 and 2024 seasons to Chinese-owned Spanish broadcasting group Mediapro, fueling speculations that the pay TV group was on a downward path.
However, Maxime Saada (pictured), Canal Plus Group’s chairman and CEO, said several weeks ago on social media that he was confident that the pay TV group will broadcast games from France’s league Ligue 1 for the 2020/21 season.
Mediapro paid €1.15 billion per year to broadcast the games and said it would be launching a channel dedicated to soccer in France. Canal Plus may be able to distribute Mediapro’s channel through its satellite platform.
Altice Group had splurged to acquire the Premier League rights in 2015, as well as rights to Uefa Champions League and Europa League football from 2018 to 2021, beating both BeIn Sports and Canal Plus Group; but as it is currently financially struggling, the telco group appears to be losing momentum.