Speaking to L’Equipe, the broadcaster’s marketing and commercial director Christophe Pinard-Legry said that the two new channels will launch on December 26 on its MyCanal streaming service at no additional cost.
The channels will be dedicated to the English Premier League, and French Rugby Union’s Top 14.
As reported in English by SportsPro, Pinard-Legry said: “Our subscribers were asking to consume sport differently. The Canal+ channels, with programming that covers cinema, entertainment series and sport, did not allow fans of rugby or English football to find their content. We are therefore changing the way in which we present and broadcast [competitions] by presenting them by competition on MyCanal.”
It is believed that these could be the first of many competition-specific digital channels. After losing out on Ligue 1 rights to Mediapro last year, Canal+ has heavily invested in bulking up its rights portfolio.
Last week, it won the rights to the Europa League, Europe’s second-tier club football competition. This followed a successful joint bid with beIN Sport for the Champions League, announced earlier in December.
The broadcaster has also started talks with beIN with a view to entering into an exclusive distribution and sublicensing deal in France. The broadcaster said that the proposed agreement would offer beIN Sports’ premium channels and content while also being the exclusive distributor of beIN Sports to third-party providers across all platforms in France from June 2020.
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