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Altice to show delayed coverage of PSG, Lyon Champions League matches on local channels

French telco Altice will re-broadcast Uefa Champions League matches involving Paris Saint Germain and Olympic Lyonnais on its local channel in each club’s city.

BFM Paris and BFM Lyon Métropole will show PSG and Lyon matches, respectively, at least 48 hours after they are broadcast on Altice’s pay-television outlet, RMC Sport.

Altice holds the rights in France to the Uefa Champions League from 2018-19 to 2020-21.

The Paris and Lyon channels are Altice’s only two local stations at present. The telco launched its Lyon channel on Tuesday.

It plans to launch a third channel in Lille, called BFM Grande Lille, with discussions set to be completed in the coming week, according to puremédias.com. This holds out the possibility of a similar re-broadcast arrangement for Champions League matches involving Lille.

Altice offered simultaneous live coverage of the 2018-19 Champions League final on both RMC Sport and the free-to-air BFM TV. The showpiece between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur registered an average audience of 2.5m viewers (a 14.3-per-cent share).

At the time, Altice became embroiled in a row with French broadcast regulator CSA over the selection of the news-focused BFM TV channel to show the final. The watchdog had claimed that BFM TV was not suitable to show live coverage of a high-profile sports event given its remit as a news channel chiefly focused on the financial sector.

Hervé Beroud, deputy chief executive of Altice Media, told puremédias.com: “We have a point of difference with the CSA but these rebroadcasts of matches on our regional channels have nothing to do with it. The difference over the Champions League final will be arbitrated on by the Council of State in a few months and we will see.”

Beroud added that Altice would respect the Uefa legislation that requires a delay of 30 hours before the rebroadcast of games on one of the group’s free-to-air channels.

Last season, Altice aired six games from the Europa League group stages on its free-to-air RMC Story channel as part of its commitment to make a total of 15 matches available to a wider audience, including the final.

Last month, RMC Sport raised subscription rates for its OTT service, according to local media reports. Its non-commitment OTT offer is now available at €25 per month from €19 previously, while the contracted OTT subscription rate rose to €228 per year (or €19 per month) from €168 per year (or €14 per month).

Subscription rate for those who access RMC Sport through Altice’s French subsidiary SFR will remain unchanged at €9 per month.