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Altice adds English national rugby to sporting line-up

facade_campus_sfr_maxime_dufour__photographies_3Altice, the owner of French service provider SFR, has struck an agreement with the English Rugby Football Union to secure exclusive rights to matches for the 2016-20 period.

The deal will cover the airing of four or five of the English national team’s home matches across Altice’s platforms in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg. Altice already holds the relevant territory rights to the English Aviva Premiership rugby championship.

SFR will air the matches on SFR Sport 2 each Saturday from November 12 to December 3, featuring English national team fixtures against South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia.

The rugby agreement is the latest in a series of deals struck by Altice to secure additional sports content for its platforms. In October it struck a deal with the French athletics federation, the FFA, to commercialise the rights to the latter’s events and competitions involving the national team. At the time, Altice hailed that deal as a historic first, creating a global exclusive agreement  between the FFA and a major telecom and media group for the first time.

Altice secured rights to English Premier League football for the next three seasons last year and also recently secured rights to Portuguese top-tier football.  In August, SFR teamed up with rival sports subscription service BeIN Sports to provide bundled offerings that included not only its own sports channels but those of BeIN Sports – including French football – in competition with Canal+.

Also in October, Altice struck a deal with French eSports event the ESWC to provide bandwidth for the latter’s competitions during Paris Games Week and to deliver a livestream of the contest on Twitch TV.

Altice CEO Michel Combes said that the latest deal was “a new illustration of the convergence of media and telecoms at the heart of the Altice Group’s industrial strategy and of its French subsidiary SFR”.

Tags: Altice, France, Rugby, SFR