BeIN Sports scores enhanced Champions League contract

French pay-television broadcasters beIN Sports and Canal Plus have confirmed the retention of their rights to the Uefa Champions League club football competition from 2015-16 to 2017-18.

Canal Plus and beIN Sports are the current rights-holders to the Champions League in France and beIN Sports’ coverage of the competition is set to increase under the new three-year deal.

Florent Houzot, director of beIN Sports, said: “We have strongly improved our offer for the Uefa Champions League for the pleasure of our subscribers. Indeed, we have won four of the five lots for sale including the premium lot A1. This will allow us, in the group stage, to have 50 per cent of the matches of the two French clubs, which is currently not the case. From the knockout stages, if the two French clubs are still in the race, the system remains the same. However, if only one French club remains in contention, we will broadcast 100 per cent of its games exclusively. If a third French club qualifies, all its meetings will be exclusive to our broadcasts.”

Canal Plus’ live rights will allow it to broadcast the game of choice on Wednesdays, with beIN Sports taking the top game on Tuesdays. This is a reverse of the arrangement for the broadcasters’ current contract.

BeIN Sports added that it has secured the rights to the Champions League final, which will also be broadcast on free-to-air television in France. It has also acquired the exclusive rights to the Super Cup competition.

BeIN Sports will broadcast the four editions of the annual match between the winners of the previous season’s Champions League and Europa League, from 2015 to 2018.

Earlier this month, Canal Plus beat competition from beIN Sports to pick up the rights to the two main packages of the domestic football league, Ligue 1, in a four-year deal from 2016-17 to 2019-2020.