Ligue 1 is where the top French soccer teams play. And it is easier than ever for cord-cutters to watch it. Read on to learn all your options.
In a hurry? The various beIN Sports channels are the place for Ligue 1. These services offer them and much more:
- FuboTV: Includes all the beIN Sports channels and all the TUDN channels and much more! FuboTV allows you to try out its service free for 7 days.
- Sling TV: A great low-cost way to watch Ligue 1. Save 50% on Sling TV!
- Vidgo: Includes a large if idiosyncratic selection of channels for a reasonable price. Try one month for $59.95.
Table Of Contents
Ligue 1 is the top soccer league in France while Paris Saint-Germain is its most-known club. PSG has been a recent power as well, having claimed eight of 10 trophies from 2012-13 to 2021-22. Meanwhile, its rivalry with Olympique de Marseille, Le Classique, is an intense one.
This competition is considered by nearly every measure as one of the six best leagues in Europe.
Professional soccer got a later start in France than in many other countries as Ligue 1, the nation’s first professional league, had its first season in 1932-33. The initial title winner was Olympique Lillois, which would later merge with SC Fivers to become Lille OSC, a current Ligue 1 club.
With the 2021-22 season, Paris Saint-Germain and Saint-Etienne have won the most league trophies with 10 apiece while Marseille has nine plus one that was claimed before the professional era began. That first one was won in 1928-29. Monaco and Nantes are next on this list with eight titles apiece.
Prior to the professional era, the country’s first national competition started with its 1893-94 campaign. However, this had a cup format. Standard Athletic Club claimed the final over The White Rovers.
Ligue 1 has consisted of 20 clubs since the 2002-03 campaign, and this will continue until it is cut down to 18 for the 2023-24 season.
Every team plays the other once at home and once away, resulting in a total of 38 matches through the 2022-23 season and 34 games from the 2023-24 campaign on.
In most seasons, two teams get relegated to Ligue 2 for the following campaign. The third-from-the-bottom side plays a playoff against a club from Ligue 2 for a spot in the following Ligue 1 season.
In 2022-23, promotion and relegation will be simpler with four going down and two going up while the incorporation of playoffs is expected to resume with the 2023-24 campaign.
PSG claimed the 2021-22 crown by a wide margin while some of the other top clubs that campaign included Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Monaco, Nantes, Nice, Rennes, and Strasbourg.
The top three finishers qualify for the following season’s UEFA Champions League competition. Another team advances to the UEFA Europa League and one qualifies for the UEFA Europa Conference League. A sixth might go to the Europa League as well. It depends on who wins the Coupe de France.
2021-22 Ligue 1 Teams
- Paris Saint-Germain
The major domestic cup in France is the Coupe de France, and all Ligue 1 sides enter in the ninth round (the round of 64). The winner qualifies for the UEFA Europa League. Nantes took the trophy for the 2021-22 campaign, defeating Nice, 1-0, in the final in front of 78,000 at the Stade de France.
Note that the Coupe de la Ligue is no longer in existence. It was last held during the 2019-20 season.
Ligue 2 is France’s second-tier league. Its setup is similar to Ligue 1 in that it also has 20 clubs, and it is also looking to reduce its membership to 18, most likely for the 2024-25 campaign. Currently, the top two teams go up while the third-, fourth- and fifth-place sides qualify for the playoffs. Meanwhile, the bottom two sides go down, and the 18th-place club participates in those playoffs. However, just two will go up in 2022-23, and there will be no playoffs awarding a spot to Ligue 1 that season.
Six French clubs participate in European soccer, three to the UEFA Champions League, two to the UEFA Europa League, and one to the UEFA Europa Conference League. Also, teams that start in one competition may sometimes be moved to a lower one in lieu of being eliminated.
In 2020, PSG became the first French-based club to play in the Champions League final in 16 years. The Parisians fell to Bayern Munich, 1-0. The last French team to win this competition was Marseille (1992-93).
Meanwhile, the most recent French club to play in the Europa League final was Marseille (2017-18) while no side from France has ever won it.
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Watching Ligue 1
Ligue 1 is available to watch throughout the world. Unsurprisingly, coverage is especially good throughout Europe.
Those based in the US can view Ligue 1 games on beIN Sports. Note that fans who want to enjoy as many matches of this competition as possible should ensure that they have access to beIN Sports Connect as well.
A significant benefit to those interested in French soccer is that they can get multiple French-based competitions in one place as beIN Sports also owns the rights to broadcast the Coupe de France and Ligue 2.
These are your options for getting beIN Sports:
- FuboTV: The ultimate choice for international soccer fans that includes all the beIN Sports and TUDN channels in its 105+ channel lineup for $69.99/mo. It also comes with beIN Sports Connect, but you really don’t need it. All plans come with 1000 hours of cloud DVR and streaming on up to 10 devices. (FuboTV review)
- Sling TV: Get beIN Sports for as little as $40/mo (Sling Orange + World Sports Mini). It also comes with ESPN and Disney Channel. The plan includes 50 hours of cloud DVR storage. You can only stream on one device at a time but you can get 3 with the Sling Blue + Sports Extra for $46/mo. (Sling TV review)
- Vidgo: Comes with a lot of channels and access to beIN Sports Connect for $59.95/mo. It currently doesn’t include a DVR but that may be changing. You can stream on up to 3 devices at once. (Vidgo review)
- Fanatiz: The best way to watch Central and South American leagues, from Argentina to Guatamala and Brazil to Chile. Includes a dozen or so live channels, including beIN Sports for all you Ligue1 fans, for $9.99/mo. (Fanatiz review)
- YouTube TV: Provides only the two base English-language beIN Sports channels in its Sports Plus add-on for $75.99/mo total. A good streaming service but probably not the best for Ligue 1.
Your only other consideration would be securing access to European competitions through Paramount+ ($4.99/mo) in order to watch French sides battle for continent-wide glory. See our Paramount+ review for more information.
Those based in France can view Ligue 1 matches on Canal+ (20%) and Amazon Prime (80%).
Canadians, Australians, and New Zealanders should, like those based in the US, head to their own versions of beIN Sports in order to see French clubs in action on a weekly or biweekly basis.
Also of note for Canadians is that Lille matches can be seen on OneSoccer as well.
Meanwhile, those based in the United Kingdom and Ireland who want to check out the action on the other side of the English Channel can see some matches on BT Sport.
How to Watch Ligue 1 on Your TVs and Devices
Regardless of your hardware, you should have no problem watching Ligue 1 on it. All of the streaming services above support these devices:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android Mobile
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- Web browsers.
FuboTV and Sling TV also support other devices including LG, Samsung, and VIZIO smart TVs as well as the Xbox gaming consoles. There are other supported devices. See our devices pages for FuboTV and Sling TV.
Many soccer fans worldwide, including those in the US, who want to watch Ligue 1 matches throughout the campaign should secure access to beIN Sports. The most affordable way to do so by US-based supporters is through Sling TV. But our recommendation is to step up to FuboTV.
Has a Ligue 1 team ever won the UEFA Champions League?
Yes, a Ligue 1 team has won the UEFA Champions League. Olympique de Marseille claimed the trophy in 1992-93. After securing nine points from six group stage matches, Marseille advanced to the final. There, the provincial club eased past AC Milan, 1-0, at Olympiastadion in Munich, Germany. French teams to make but fall in the final include Reims (1955-56 and 1958-59), Saint-Etienne (1975-76), and Paris Saint-Germain (2019-20). Also, Marseille lost the final in 1990-91.
Does Ligue 1 have playoffs?
Usually, Ligue 1 has playoffs. This has been the case since the 2016-17 season. The team that finishes in 18th place takes on a club from Ligue 2. Initially, this was a simple head-to-head match-up with the third-place team from the second-tier league. However, that changed to be against whichever team advanced from Ligue 2 playoffs involving the third-, fourth-, and fifth-place sides. With all of that said, there will be no playoffs in 2022-23.
How do I go about watching other soccer events?
These guides explain how to watch the other major soccer leagues and events:
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