Al-Jazeera is very serious about football and has landed another domestic Ligue 1 media rights package. After acquiring the Champions League TV rights for the french market AND the Ligue 1 TV rights, the Qatar-based broadcaster had secured rights for an additional six live Ligue 1 games per round on pay-per-view, together with a weekly football magazine-style programme.
Al-Jazeera had already secured the rights to two games per round, with Canal Plus showing the remainder of the package. The new agreement will see the French pay-television channel retain the rights to two matches per week. The deal is said to be worth a minimum 240 million euros ($315 million) for four seasons from 2012-13.
The deal is the latest in a series of major investments in French media rights and suggests that Al-Jazeera will continue to be the major player in French football broadcasting. In December, it acquired four of the country’s five media rights packages for the UEFA Champions League from 2012-15, and it has also gained the international rights to Ligue 1 action.
Nasser al-Khelaifi, president of Al Jazeera Sport, also serves as chairman of Ligue 1 giant Paris Saint-Germain. It has been reported that Al-Jazeera is planning to provide a platform for its rights by developing or acquiring its own channel in France, and has spoken to Orange about such a project. Nasser al-Khelaifi, president of Al Jazeera Sport, is also Chairman of Ligue 1 favourites Paris Saint-Germain.