By Stuart Thomson
The French Football Federation (FFF) has opened bidding for domestic and international rights to the Coupe de France football competition for the three seasons until 2026, amid speculation that Amazon is likely to be in the running for the French rights.
The domestic rights to the competition are currently held by Discovery’s Eurosport and pubcaster France Télévisions.
Amazon secured the bulk of France’s top-tier Ligue 1 football rights at a much-reduced rate in a shock development last year following the collapse of the Ligue’s previous deal with Spanish broadcaster Mediapro. Amazon’s win led to threats of a boycott of the competition from pay TV leader Canal+, which had previously agreed to pay a much higher sum for a much smaller package of rights.
The FFF has reportedly been disappointed by the quality and extent of coverage of the Coupe de France from the current rightsholders, for which it is paid €22 million a year.
According to sports newspaper L’Équipe, which first reported Amazon’s interest, the FFF is looking for a subscription service as the primary rightsholder, which would then sub-license rights to a free-to-air service, as required by French law.
The Coupe de France is a knockout competition open to all French clubs, including amateur sides. The final is played in the Stade de France and the winner qualifies for the group stage of the UEFA Europa League and a place in Trophée des Champions match against the winner of that year’s Ligue 1 tournament.