Canal Plus wins soccer match

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PARIS -- After a series of lawsuits, Gallic pay TV group Canal Plus has emerged victorious in the battle to air the majority of Ligue 1 soccer matches, the group said late Wednesday night.

National French soccer league the LFP granted Canal Plus a majority share of soccer games for the 2008-2012 period, and awarded rights to the rest of the games to France Telecom's Orange.

The league earned a total of 668 million euros ($977.4 million), with Canal Plus paying 460 million euros ($673.1 million) and Orange doling out 208 million euros ($304.4 million).

The league made 653 million euros ($955.5 million) on its last contract, with Canal Plus paying a hefty 600 million euros ($877.9 million) for its monopoly over the rights up to 2008.

Canal Plus and Orange will share the rights to broadcast Ligue 1 games through 2012, with Orange granted broadcasting rights for games via VOD and mobile formats.

"Thanks to the ensemble of these shares, the Canal Plus group continues to be the biggest promoter of Ligue 1 by bringing its unique editorial know-how: the expertise of its editorial staff, its team of prestigious consultants, technological innovations, and standards of direction at the height of the biggest competitions worldwide," Canal Plus said in a statement.

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