The French Football League (LFP) has delayed the launch of its MyLigue 1 over-the-top platform until at least this summer, with the streaming service potentially not going live until as late as summer 2021.
The launch had been due at the beginning of this year but was delayed by the takeover early last year of the platform’s developer, US-based online video technology company Ooyala, by compatriot software company Brightcove.
MyLigue 1 is aimed at the international market, with the LFP envisaging it as an additional service for those broadcasters that do not have the resources to develop a dedicated digital Ligue 1 offering.
LFP media director Mathieu Ficot told SportBusiness Media on Tuesday that the OTT platform will provide the league’s international sales agent beIN Media Group with “additional assets to optimise our international TV rights”.
BeIN holds the Ligue 1 international rights in six-year deal from 2018-19 to 2023-24 worth an average of €80m ($88.4m) per season.
In those markets where Ligue1 is not distributed, MyLigue 1 could be used in the next 2021-24 international rights cycle as a direct-to-consumer service that would showcase live and near-live content, Ficot said.
Footage to be shown on the platform would also include “inside” content and archive footage from Ligue 1 and Ligue 2.
An initial free access model is thought to be a possibility, followed by a monthly subscription or the purchase of matches on a pay-per-view basis.
Didier Quillot, the LFP chief executive, told French news outlet L’Équipe last year: “We need to improve the international visibility of Ligue 1 in certain territories. This OTT app will especially create a bit of competition where the league is not well distributed or at all, in countries like Poland and Belgium.”
Germany’s Bundesliga is already planning the launch of its OTT subscription service in certain international markets next season, as reported by SportBusiness in August. The ‘Bundesliga Pass’ service would be able to stream all matches from Germany’s top-tier league in markets where the league cannot derive acceptable rights bids from broadcasters, or also in markets where the league is looking to develop the property.
Spain’s LaLiga has also been particularly active in the digital space, launching its multi-sport LaLiga Sports TV service earlier this year. The platform streams live games from Spanish football’s second-tier Segunda División behind a paywall and offers short highlights from Spain’s top two leagues.
Last week, the LFP launched websites to showcase content from Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 that include a feature called MyLigue, focussed more on the domestic market. The latter delivers free access to exclusive content such as news, interviews, statistics, club profiles, player profiles and archived highlights.