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Top 14 TV rights retained by Canal+ in €454.4m deal

Pay-TV broadcaster will continue to air French rugby union league until 2026/27.

3 March 2021 Sam Carp

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  • New four-year deal worth annual €113.6m, representing 17% increase on current contract
  • Canal+ secures all three packages up for grabs, including live games, magazine programming and near-live digital clips and highlights
  • Vivendi-owned broadcaster has aired domestic Top 14 coverage since 1995

French pay-TV broadcaster Canal+ has retained the domestic rights to the Top 14 rugby union competition in a four-year deal worth some €454.4 million (US$549.1 million).

The contract, which runs from the 2023/2024 season until the end of the 2026/27 campaign, averages out at around €113.6 million (US$137.2 million) a year, representing an increase of 17 per cent on the existing agreement, worth an annual €97 million (US$117.2 million).

Canal+ secured all three packages put up for grabs by the governing Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR), meaning it will have exclusive coverage of all Top 14 matches, including the playoffs and final, as well as weekly magazine programming dedicated to France’s top-flight league.

In securing package three, Canal+ will also have the right to air near-live clips and highlights across its digital platforms. 

The deal continues the Vivendi-owned network’s long-running association with the Top 14, which it has broadcast domestically since 1995. Canal+ also holds international rights to the league until the end of the 2024/25 season.

Paul Goze, president of the LNR, hailed the latest agreement as “the result of several years of construction and strong political choices to make the Top 14 a great competition”.

He added: “The commitment of the LNR and the clubs to support training, modernise the stadiums, offer high-level, homogeneous, united competition, with suspense throughout the season ended by the great event of the final stages, is bearing fruit.

“The new increase in audiovisual rights resulting from this call for tenders will allow professional rugby and French rugby as a whole to continue its development dynamic.”

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