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Canal+ and BeIN Sport secures Champions League, leaving Mediapro out in cold

French pay TV operator Canal+ and rival BeIN Sports have between them secured the rights to UEFA Champions League football in France for the 2021-24 seasons, leaving existing rights holder Altice France and Spanish disruptor Mediapro out in the cold. Free-to-air broadcaster TF1 has meanwhile secured the rights to air the final of the competition. 

Canal+ secured two premium packages, marking its return as a rights-holder to the competition. The pay TV broadcaster will air the two top fixtures each Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as airing a post-0match magazine show. The pay TV broadcaster will also show the Super Cup between the winners of the Champions League and the Europa League. BeIN Sports will air the competition’s other matches. 

Canal+ CEO Maxime Saada said: “We are delighted to once again be able to showcase the most prestigious European football competition on our channels and offer to our subscribers the two best matches from each day. This competition will benefit from the widely recognised editorial know-how of its sports team and will come to enrich the already incomparable sports offer of Canal+. 

Rights to sister competition the Europa League have yet to be allocated.

According to French sports paper L’Équipe the two broadcasters have struck a deal that will see them pay €375 million a year between them. 

TF1 has secured a fourth package with exclusive free-to-air rights to the final, following its announcement last week that it would sub-license rights to the Euro2020 competition from BeIN Sports. The Champions League final must be broadcast free-to-air under French law . 

Mediapro, which stunned French sports rights observers by winning the 2020-24 rights to Ligue 1 football, will reportedly complain to UEFA over the latest deal on the grounds that it had not been given the option to raise a bid that was close to the reported price.