Winning back the Premier League, currently held by Altice’s RMC Sport, is a significant coup for the embattled pay TV broadcaster, which saw its grip on France’s top tier Ligue 1 rights removed by Spanish broadcaster Mediapro earlier this year when it outbid the pay TV operator to secure these from 2020. Canal+ also lost the UEFA Champions League and Europa League rights from this year to Altice.
Canal+ said that winning back the rights “reflects the Group’s drive to invest in premium content over time and to offer an unparalleled football offering, primarily on its own channels”.
The acquisition of Premier League rights means that in France, Canal+ will be able to offer a selction of French football games including the top three Ligue 1 games, the Premier league and Top14 French rugby, Formula 1, Moto GP, WRC, Golf and the 2020 Olympics.
In Poland, the Premier League will join Polish national league Lotto Ekstraklasa, 50% of Spanish La Liga, selected German Bundesliga matches, NBA, the best speedway league in the world PGE Ekstraliga and Speedway Grand Prix, CEV Volleyball Champions League, EHF Champions League, Polish handball Superliga, Rugby Six Nations Cup, and PGA golf
The reversion of French Premier League rights to Canal+ is a blow for Altice and RMC Sport. SFR said it would work with Canal+, in “the spirit of” an existing agreement giving Canal+ access to Champions League, to provide RMC Sport subscribers access to the Premier League from next year. The operator was referring to an offer launched in September providing Canal+, BeIN Sports and RMC Sport to its subscribers for €40 a month.
SFR said that RMC Sport remained “the most complete sports platform” but said that, in terms of exclusive rights, it would now focus on “premium events” like the Champions League.