May 30, 2018 / 7:26 AM / 9 months ago

Vivendi shares slide after losing French soccer TV rights

FILE PHOTO: A logo is seen over the main entrance of the entertainment-to-telecoms conglomerate Vivendi's headquarters in Paris April 8, 2015. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Shares in French media giant Vivendi (VIV.PA) fell sharply after Vivendi’s Canal Plus TV arm ended up empty-handed in a crucial soccer broadcasting rights auction in France.

Vivendi shares were down by about 4 percent at 0905 GMT, the worst performer on France's benchmark CAC-40 index .FCHI.

Canal Plus was beaten out for the most-coveted rights by Spain’s Mediapro, a Chinese-owned group, as prices boomed by close to 60 percent to more than 1.15 billion euros (1 billion pounds).

The setback in the rights for the Ligue 1 championship, France’s main soccer competition, highlights Canal Plus’ current difficulties to grow in France, where it has historically built a reputation of broadcasting major soccer matches.

Billionaire businessman Vincent Bollore, who recently increased his Vivendi stake to more than 24 percent, also saw the shares in his holding company Groupe Bollore (BOLL.PA) fell by around 2 percent on Wednesday.

Separately, French telecoms operator Iliad (ILD.PA) provided details on its acquisition of one of the seven lots offered by France’s professional soccer body during the auction on Tuesday.

Iliad said it will pay 50 million euros per year for the seasons extending from 2020/2021 to 2023/2024 to be able to stream quasi-live goals, the best saves and other highlights on its fixed and mobile platforms.

At the end of each matchday in the season, Iliad - which is majority-owned by billionaire Xavier Niel - will also release a magazine featuring game summaries, the goals, an overview of developments and the best highlights.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by John Irish

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