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BeIN Sports complains to regulator over Top 14 rights deal

BeIN Sports has submitted a formal complaint to the Autorité de la Concurrence, the French competition authority, after pay-television rival Canal Plus was awarded Top 14 rights by France’s Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR), the body that operates the rugby union club competition.

Canal Plus was awarded the rights over five years, from 2014-15 to 2018-19, in January just days after the LNR said that it had postponed a rights tender after becoming the subject of legal action by the same broadcaster.

Further details of beIN Sports’ complaint to the regulator were not disclosed by the AFP news agency, but the broadcaster claimed in January that the process had not followed “a transparent procedure to ensure fair competition.”

In December, the LNR activated a cancellation clause in its five-year agreement with Canal Plus, from 2011-12 to 2015-16, in order to seek a more lucrative rights deal.