Canal Plus and TF1 land women’s Euro 2021 rights

Commercial free-to-air broadcaster TF1 and pay-TV broadcaster Canal Plus have secured the rights in France to the 2021 edition of the Uefa Women’s European Championship as the property enjoys a healthy increase in value.

The two broadcasters, which aired this year’s Fifa Women’s World Cup in France, are currently finalising details with Uefa with regards to a joint deal worth €13m ($14.3m), reports L’Équipe.

Strong competition among broadcasters has pushed up the value of the rights, with public broadcaster France Télévisions having paid just €5m for the rights to Euro 2017.

The CAA Eleven agency issued the invitation to tender on September 3, as reported by SportBusiness, before a second round of bidding later in the month.

It is reported that commercial broadcaster M6 and pay-TV’s beIN Sports teamed up during the tender process, while a “good offer” was also submitted by Mediapro, the Spanish agency and production group that secured the men’s Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 rights from 2020-21 onwards. France Télévisions is also said to have taken part in the process.

It is expected that the Canal+ and Canal+ Sport channels will, between them, offer all 31 games from the 2021 tournament, and that TF1 will have non-exclusive rights to 14 games. The games set to be shown on free-to-air television would include France’s matches, particularly with these games soon expected to be added to France’s list of protected events.

The tournament will take place in England from July 11 to August 1, 2021 and the improved broadcast deal in France comes swiftly after the country’s successful hosting of the Women’s World Cup, a tournament that pulled in stellar viewing figures.

France’s quarter-final loss to eventual winners USA was watched by an average of 10.7 million viewers (a 51-per-cent share) on TF1, the French free-to-air commercial broadcaster. A further 1.1 million subscribers watched the game on pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus.

The French team’s last-16 victory over Brazil was watched by an average of 10.6 million viewers on TF1, plus 1.3 million Canal Plus subscribers.

TF1 acquired the rights to the 2019 Women’s World Cup in a deal worth €10m and that was representative of blossoming rights fees in major markets for women’s football’s showpiece event and a huge increase on the fee paid by French free-to-air digital terrestrial broadcaster W9 for the rights to the 2015 tournament.

TF1 then went on to sublicense the pay-TV rights to the 2019 tournament to Canal Plus.

UK public-service broadcaster the BBC landed exclusive rights to Euro 2021 in the host country in a deal announced in July. Public broadcaster TVE this week announced the acquisition of the rights in Spain.