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BeIN and France Télévisions retain rights to European rugby showpieces

European Professional Club Rugby, the organising body of the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup rugby union competitions, has extended its rights deals with French pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports and public-service broadcaster France Télévisions.

BeIN and France Télévisions have agreed new four-season contracts covering the 2018-19 to 2021-22 seasons of the two tournaments.

EPCR tendered its rights in France on April 21, with first-round bids due by May 17. BeIN and France Télévisions currently hold rights to both competitions in four-season deals from 2014-15 to 2017-18.

Under the new contracts, beIN will continue to have rights to all matches in European professional club rugby’s two premier tournaments. It has also committed to broadcast all Champions Cup matches involving domestic Top 14 clubs, two high-profile Challenge Cup matches per round, as well as the knockout stages of both tournaments.

France Télévisions’ France 2 channel has retained the right to show the first-choice match of the round on Sunday afternoons, whilst France 4 will continue to show its first-choice fixture from the Challenge Cup on Saturday evenings.

EPCR said it has been agreed that discussions can be initiated between beIN and France Télévisions to further increase the exposure of the tournaments on free-to-air television.

Financial terms of the new agreements were not disclosed but EPCR said in a statement: “Importantly, the considerable growth in revenues generated by the rights for the 2018-2022 cycle illustrates the success of key tournament changes made by EPCR in recent years.”