TF1 Sub-License Rugby WC Coverage to France Televisions/Canal+

March 29, 2011

TF1, denture the major French broadcaster, has announced that it will share domestic coverage of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand later this year after sub-licensing TV rights to free-to-air France Televisions and pay-TV network Canal+.

According to the agreement revealed yesterday, March 28, TF1 has sold on the rights to 28 of the International Rugby Board tournament’s 48 matches, however, the channel will retain exclusivity for 20 games, including the semi-finals and the final.

Under the terms of the agreement, France Televisions and Canal+ will also carry magazine programmes and internet simulcasts of the matches as well as delayed coverage. TF1 will air the action via television, the internet and mobile TV.

According to Le Figaro, France Televisions paid about Eur10m (US$14m) to acquire its share of the rights, and the channel’s head of sports, Daniel Bilalian, admitted that “sporting competitions are never profitable (for broadcasters) straight away”. He added: “However, they generate a return in the long-term.”

Canal+ is reported to have paid about Eur5m ($7m), and Cyrille Linette, the channel’s head of sports, said that “exhaustive coverage would be provided across various platforms”.