Jeff Bezos Splashed $300 Million on French Ligue 1 Months Before Lionel Messi Arrived to Save the Day

Published 11/19/2022, 5:30 AM EST

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Lionel Messi has been in great form this season for Paris Saint-Germain with 17 goal contributions from 13 games. However, this wasn’t the case last season as he struggled to adapt to the French side. Messi left his boyhood club FC Barcelona after spending 21 years with the Catalan giants. It was a big move for the French Ligue 1, which already had stars such as Kylian Mbappe and Neymar playing in the league. Messi’s move benefitted several stakeholders, such as the club, the league, and, most importantly, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon.

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Amazon Prime Video has gained global popularity over the years. Jeff Bezos’ Amazon has entered the sports streaming industry as well after tasting success as an OTT platform. They made their debut in sports streaming through a landmark deal with the National Football League for Thursday Night Football rights. Now they have expanded to several sports, such as tennis, soccer, cricket, and basketball, among others.

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The pandemic hit the soccer world hard, with leagues and teams facing heavy financial losses. Ligue 1 doesn’t have the same commercial pull as the Premier League and La Liga. Their broadcasting rights deal with Mediapro collapsed and Jeff Bezos turned savior with a reported $300 Million deal in 2021 for three years.

Jeff Bezos signed a $300 million deal with Ligue 1 and saw Lionel Messi join PSG months later

Amazon Prime Video signed a reported $300 million deal with French Ligue 1 for broadcasting rights for three years. The Ligue 1 was in crisis at that time and it was a ‘historic’ deal for them. However, two months later, due to FC Barcelona’s financial crisis, Messi had to leave Spain for free. He signed with PSG on a 2-year deal.

Leo Messi ended up becoming the financial savior of the league as his debut game for PSG broke the most-watch Ligue 1 game record. More than 10.5 million people tuned in to watch the Argentine make his debut for the Paris-based club. Gerard Pique’s Kosmos Holdings signed a broadcasting deal with Ligue 1 for streaming in Spain following Messi’s signature with PSG.

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It’s fair to say that Jeff Bezos got a good deal with the Ligue 1. Amazon may not have managed to get the same deal after Messi’s arrival. The popularity of the league has increased with more than 100 countries watching the league.

Amazon’s sports-related acquisitions

Jeff Bezos entered the sports industry by striking a deal with the NFL in 2017. Months later, it replaced Sky Sports as the broadcaster for the ATP World Tour rights in Britain. A year later, Amazon signed a 3-year deal with the English Premier League for the broadcasting rights of 20 games from 2019.

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Jeff Bezos has now signed an exclusive 11-year deal with the NFL for ‘Thursday Night Football’ from 2022. The platform will also air 17 UEFA Champions League games in 2023-24 in the UK. Another major deal saw them get the NBA’s broadcasting rights for Brazil during the 2022-3 season.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Lionel Messi’s Most Insane Dribbling Runs

What do you think of Amazon’s expansion to the sports broadcasting industry? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Written by:

Abhishek Singh

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Abhishek Singh is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports with over two years of journalistic experience with Chase Your Sport and Dribl. A Football Management graduate, he has previously interned in the Indian Super League, I-League and the AFC Champions League. In addition to being a Michael Jordan fan, Abhishek is an ardent Steph Curry and Warriors guy, and believes they have a few more championships in store before the former retires.
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Edited by:

Sreeda U M

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