France’s Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) has awarded pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus exclusive domestic rights to the second-tier Pro D2 competition.
The seven-season deal commences with the 2020-21 campaign and also covers rights to Supersevens, a new competition for rugby sevens teams.
Canal Plus confirmed that the exclusive deal would be worth an average of €8m ($8.9m) per season. The broadcaster previously shared Pro D2 rights with Eurosport and France 3 Régions.
Canal Plus said the new deal would allow the Pro D2 to continue its development with editorial coverage of the entire competition and a video referee to feature in all matches from 2020-21.
The deal grants Canal Plus rights to all Pro D2 matches on a live and delayed basis, as well as magazine shows and co-distribution rights to the Top 14 play-off match. Canal Plus will also be able to sublicense rights to other parties.
The new Supersevens competition will be contested by Top 14 clubs, a team from Monaco and another guest team. The competition is designed to attract new audiences to rugby sevens ahead of the sport’s appearance at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
In February, Canal Plus added international rights to its domestic coverage of the Top 14 after agreeing a new deal with the LNR. The six-season contract will see Canal Plus market the international broadcast rights to the Top 14 spanning the 2019-20 to 2024-25 seasons.
Canal Plus retained domestic rights to the Top 14 back in May 2016 in a deal that covers the 2019-20 to 2022-23 seasons.