Ligue 1 reserved for Amazon Prime subscribers at an additional cost

How will we be able to see Ligue 1 in France at the start of the school year? Two weeks before the resumption of the French football championship, Amazon, which has acquired the rights to everyone’s surprise, gives details this Tuesday, July 13: you will have to be a member of Prime, the loyalty service of the e-giant. commerce and, in addition, take out a subscription to a dedicated service, for 12.99 euros per month, which can be canceled at any time.

The “Prime Video Ligue 1 channel” will be “The new home of the championship”, comments Alex Green, responsible for purchasing sports rights for Amazon in Europe. This service will be accessible through Amazon’s video platform, Prime Video. And launched on 1is August, on the occasion of the Champions Trophy, scheduled for Tel Aviv between PSG and Lille. This match will be accessible at no additional cost to Prime subscribers.

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Financially, access to matches will therefore cost 12.99 euros per month plus the cost of Prime, which amounts to 49 euros per year or 5.99 euros per month. This package gives above all the right to fast delivery of parcels purchased on Amazon.fr, but also to films, series and shows in Prime Video, to music in Amazon Music, to video games, etc.

For Amazon, a new leading player in sport in France, time was running out. Moreover, the eight weekly matches of Ligue 2, which resumes on July 24, will first be visible on the L’Equipe channel, under a partnership for ten weeks.

Constitution of a team of writers

“We still have a lot to do”, recognizes Mr. Green. Editorialally, Amazon is in the process of building its teams of editors, cameramen and technicians, who will include ” hundreds ” of people. Jeff Bezos’ company has already announced four figures on the air, often from the late Téléfoot, the Mediapro channel: Thibault Le Rol, formerly of BeIN Sports who covered Roland Garros for Amazon, and Marina Lorenzo, former of the channel of Mediapro and Canal +, will be presenters. Former BeIN Sports and Téléfoot alumni, Smaïl Bouabdellah and Julien Brun – also passed by TF1 for the Euro – will be the commentators. Of « experts » will be announced later. A plateau program devoted to Ligue 1 will be available to all Prime subscribers and broadcast on Sunday at 7 p.m., before the flagship match on Sunday evening, advanced to 8:45 p.m.

“We will be physically present in all stadiums during matches, especially at the edge of the pitch” Alex Green, Managing Director of Amazon Prime Video Sport for Europe

The editorial side should not pose too many problems for Amazon. “We will be physically present in all stadiums during matches, especially at the edge of the pitch, assure Alex Green. In the UK we already have Premier League experience and in France we are delighted with the feedback on the quality of our Roland Garros coverage. “

The challenge for Amazon lies more in the media exposure of Ligue 1. “The extremely low audience figures for Roland-Garros on Amazon push the risk of invisibility into Ligue 1,” had particularly feared at the beginning of June the journalist of The team Vincent Duluc. A third of French households receive television via TNT or satellite and will therefore have access to the Prime Video service only via their computer, tablet or smartphone. On the Internet provider side, the application is not installed on all Orange, Bouygues, SFR or Free boxes, but it is. “Over the vast majority”, assures Amazon, which says ” very satisfied “ of his experience at Roland Garros, without giving any figures.

“A good price for the fans”

How many people will make the effort to pay 12.99 euros on top of their Prime membership? How many Ligue 1 fans will become members of this bouquet to be able to access Ligue 1? Amazon is confident about the accessibility of the championship. The e-commerce leader would have “9 to 11 million” Prime subscribers in France, according to a source familiar with the matter.

“The price is a good offer, it’s a good price for the fans”, thinks Alex Green. By comparison, Mediapro was more expensive, at 25 euros per month, but had to give up in high season. BeIN Sports was cheaper, at 14.99 euros. The Canal + channel costs 21.99 euros per month.

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The other fundamental question is the sustainability of the Amazon model in sport. So far, Jeff Bezos’ company is the first of America’s digital giants to break through: it has bought Champions League matches in Germany, Italy, two league days in the United Kingdom, as well as tennis, or a weekly night of American football in the United States. Its system is atypical: until now, all these rights were available at no additional cost to Prime subscribers. The idea, for the leader in e-commerce, was to make a return on its investments thanks to the purchases of Prime subscribers, which are twice the average.

Strength of the model in question

The scheme proposed in France for Ligue 1 is a world first. “It’s new for our sports rights portfolio, but it’s not new for Prime Video. It’s an evolution ”, explains Mr. Green. Amazon’s service already offers to take out an additional subscription to channels, such as OCS or Starzplay in France, Eurosport in Germany. However, this is not content disseminated by Amazon. This adjustment may be a sign of the difficulty for Prime Video to balance the investment in a full sports season like Ligue 1. Before Amazon, telephone operators like Altice (RMC Sport), Orange or BT had difficulty making a profit. their sports rights on their subscriber base. The question of the solidity of the model arises all the more since Amazon bought the rights to Ligue 1 at a low price, around 250 million euros per year, thanks to the failure of Mediapro.

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If, however, the model invented by Amazon for Ligue 1 meets with success with viewers, it could become a powerful machine: Mr. Green does not hide that he wants to strongly develop channel subscriptions via Prime Video. Jeff Bezos’ company would then bite into the beds of audiovisual distributors such as telephone operators or Canal +. The Vivendi subsidiary thus became the first reseller of BeIN Sports, which it integrated into one of its channel packages.