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.