Ligue 1 clubs rake in profits

For the third year in a row, France's Ligue 1 showed a profit with its 20 clubs netting a profit of $35 million for the 2007-08 season.

A big factor in the financial success of French soccer is the lucrative deal clubs signed with French television and cable operators that bring in more than $900 million a year.

Players have been the beneficiaries of the TV wealth, earning an average of more than $750,000 a year.

Despite the recent economic downturn, First Division clubs are still averaging 20,668 fans a game. Attendance is up 16 percent in the Second Division thanks to the relegation of popular Lens from the top flight.

French soccer remains a big draw on television. The audience for the Lyon-Marseille game two weeks ago was the largest ever for a league game on Canal Plus.

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