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Canal Plus secures long-term Top 14 rights renewal

French media group Canal Plus has retained the domestic broadcast rights for France’s top-tier Top 14 club rugby union competition and its second-tier Pro D2 in a long-term agreement with the nation’s Ligue National de Rugby (National Rugby League) governing body.

Canal Plus will broadcast 434 matches each year from across the two divisions, including both regular season and post-season playoff fixtures, across its range of networks and broadcast platforms in a deal lasting through the end of the 2031-32 season.

In extending the broadcast deal, the pay-TV heavyweight also committed to the continuation of the Canal Rugby Club magazine show and other ancillary content based around the league.

The broadcaster already held the rights through the 2026-27 season, with the latest agreement taking Canal Plus’ partnership with the National Rugby League to over 30 years, having first aired the Top 14 competition in 1998.

Canal Plus last renewed the rights for the competition in March 2021 in a deal worth a reported €454.4 million ($492.4 million), and in adding to it years in advance of the last deal’s expiration, the broadcaster secures the long-term broadcast future and financial security of the Top 14 and Pro D2 in a fiscally troubling time for rugby union both at club and international level.

Speaking on the announcement, Canal Group management board chairman Maxime Saada stated: “French rugby has always been one of the pillars of Canal Plus’ sports offering. Because it has always been there for us, we will always be there for French rugby.” Sportcal

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