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Neymar effect helps French league agree ‘major’ African tv deal

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Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar celebrates after scoring a penalty kick during the French L1 football match between Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at the Louis II stadium, in Monaco, on November 26, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Yann COATSALIOU

The French league (LFP) has reached a “major agreement” with two networks to broadcast Ligue 1 games in Sub-Saharan Africa, it announced Monday, a clear sign of the impact made by the arrival of Neymar.

The deal means French-language network Canal+ and Kwese, in English and Portuguese, will show games in Ligue 1, Ligue 2 and the French League Cup for six seasons from 2018-19 to 2023-24.

No financial details were revealed by the LFP or beIN Sports, the network which owns the exclusive international distribution rights for the French league.

However, French sports daily L’Equipe said the deal should be worth 33 million euros ($41.1m) per year, compared to 13 million euros annually under the existing terms.

“This first result encourages us to pursue our defined sales strategy and confirms the growing attractiveness of Ligue 1 thanks to the investment of the clubs to recruit new stars, develop new talent and equip themselves with modern infrastructure,” said LFP director general Didier Quillot.

The French league’s income from international rights pales in comparison to the money generated by other leading European nations.

The English Premier League brings in 1.3 billion euros a year, while Italy’s Serie A rakes in 371 million euros annually.

However, the LFP and beIN Sports are now set to target improved deals in other areas, notably Brazil, as they look to cash in on the presence of Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain.

At the moment, the LFP stands to make a modest 80 million euros annually up to 2024 from international rights.

Neymar’s world-record 222 million-euro move to PSG from Barcelona last August, and the Qatar-owned capital club’s big-money move for Kylian Mbappe from Monaco, helped drive up interest in the French game at the start of this campaign.


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