The arrival of Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain Last summer it gave a boost to the television broadcast of the French championship in different countries, with an increase in the contracts signed and the number of registered viewers in some territories.
According to the chain BeIn Sports, which manages the international rights of the Professional Football League (LFP), six new countries have started broadcasting the French championship since the Argentine changed Barcelona for the French capital.
In addition, the number of spectators in the north of Africa and in middle East, who follow that league through a channel of the Qatari chain, have increased significantly, with a 76% rise in the classic between PSG and Olympique de Marseille last October 24.
The arrival of the Argentine star seems to have raised doubts that in some countries existed about the quality of the French league, considered inferior to those of Spain, England, Germany or Italy.
The signing by PSG of the six-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, one of the main favorites to win the seventh on the 29th, has placed the French league in a privileged position to attract spectators.
Messi arrived at a club where other great stars were already present, such as the Brazilian Neymar, the most expensive player of all time, for whom PSG paid 222 million euros, and the French Kylian Mbappé, the second most expensive with 180 million.
But the arrival of these two stars to the capital club in 2017 has not had the same effect on reviving interest in the French league as that of Messi.
The Argentine, who came free after ending his contract with him Barcelona, which due to financial problems could not renew it, has shown a greater pull that has been noticed in the activity of BeIn Sports, which pays at least 75 million euros to the LFP for the commercialization of broadcasting rights of the championship abroad.
The Qatari chain, owned by the same sovereign fund that PSG owns, has signed contracts so that the French league can be seen in six new countries for the period 2021-2024, for which there are already 213 territories.
On Belgium, where the French championship had not been broadcast for three years, the channel Student Sports has taken the rights this week.
Something similar has happened in India and Vietnam, where the chains Viacom18 and Reddentes Sports, respectively, have reactivated the contracts that they had put on hold a few seasons ago.
They are joined by two Scandinavian countries where new channels have been those that have retained those rights: in Sweden Amedia and in Norway Bonnier.
With these signatures, BeIn Sport has already exceeded the minimum guaranteed by the LFP for the international commercialization of the championship rights, so that both entities will be able to share the benefits.
It is one of the few good news that television has given French football in recent years, marked by the withdrawal of the Spanish Mediapro, which suspended a contract worth more than 1,000 million euros.
In return, he has signed a contract with Amazon for the dissemination of 80% of the matches for about 250 million euros, far from the figures initially planned.
The sale of the international rights of the French league, despite progressing, is still very far from that of its neighbors.
The English Premier earns about 1,500 million annually, the Spanish about 900 million and the Italian about 370 million.