Name revealed for LFP’s OTT platform aiming to stir international rights interest

LFP President Nathalie Boy De La Tour at a press conference on August 2, 2019 in Shenzhen, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

The new over-the-top platform expected to be launched by the French Football League (LFP) at the start of next year will be called My Ligue 1, it has been reported.

A name in English has been chosen for the service as a nod to its remit in developing the visibility of the French top flight internationally, reports L’Équipe.

The MyLigue1.com domain name has been registered by an organisation based in Île-de-France, the region that includes Paris, where the LFP headquarters are based.

The LFP is said to be considering the broadcast of certain matches from Ligue 1 (or the second-tier Ligue 2) in some countries. 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.

Footage to be showcased on the platform would also include “inside” content and archive footage from Ligue 1 and Ligue 2.

Didier Quillot, the LFP chief executive, told L’Equipe in February: “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.”

BeIN Media Group holds the Ligue 1 international rights in six-year deal from 2018-19 to 2023-24 worth an average of €80m ($87.9m) per season. However, Quillot has publicly expressed his belief that the deal “undervalues” the rights and has attempted to renegotiate the terms with beIN.

Ooyala, the US-based online video technology company, has been recruited by the LFP to develop the new OTT platform.

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.