Messi’s PSG In League of Its Own for French Soccer TV Cash
(Bloomberg) -- Paris Saint-Germain would be the biggest winner from any new investment in French soccer’s television rights, under plans being drawn up by the sport’s top league in the country, according to people familiar with the matter.
Ligue de Football Professionnel, which is reviewing non-binding offers from investors for a stake in a TV rights unit, plans to distribute the entity’s future revenues to Ligue 1 clubs via three different groupings, they said.
PSG, home to stars such as Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar, would receive the most money as the sole team in a top group -- in recognition of its position as one of the leading lights of global soccer, the people said.
Under its plan, LFP would then separate the remaining Ligue 1 teams into two buckets, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters. Clubs in the first of these would include those that have qualified for elite European competitions, such as the UEFA Champions League. As a result, they would receive more broadcast revenue than those in the final bucket.
The proposals are likely to upset some of French soccer’s most historic clubs, which could find themselves in the lowest tier because of less successful recent form, one of the people said. Representatives for LFP and PSG couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
European soccer has been seeking to repair its finances after Covid-19 shutdowns and suspensions wiped billions of euros off clubs’ revenue. French soccer suffered from the collapse last year of a roughly 800 million euros ($904 million)-a-season broadcasting contract with Mediapro. The Spanish broadcaster has since been replaced by Amazon.com Inc., which is only paying a fraction of the price to show matches.
Earlier this year, France’s National Assembly voted in favor of a bill to allow professional sports leagues to create a commercial entity and sell a stake to external investors. The bill allows for investors to control up to 20% of voting and economic rights in any entity.
The LFP has received about 10 indicative offers from financial investors interested in taking a stake in the new media-rights company, it said in a statement Tuesday. It’ll select a limited number of candidates in the coming days, before starting a second phase of consultations.
CVC Capital Partners and Bain Capital submitted non-binding offers to acquire a minority stake in a new entity that would manage the TV rights generated by France’s top clubs, Reuters reported this month. Advent International has also shown an interest, Bloomberg News reported previously.
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