Canal Plus retains grip on Championnat National rights

French pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus has retained rights to France’s Championnat National, the third tier of club football in the country, for another four seasons.

The new agreement will allow Canal Plus to show the top match each Monday evening at 8:45pm (CET), and simultaneous ‘multiplex’ coverage of the 17th, 33rd and 34th match weeks.

The French Football Federation (FFF) issued an invitation to tender last month and has now awarded Canal Plus the rights from 2020-21 to 2023-24.

The Vivendi-owned broadcaster has shown France’s third tier for the last four seasons. It produces and broadcasts one fixture per match week with the remaining fixtures streamed by the FFF on its own digital platforms.

In 2016, Canal Plus took over from basic-tier sports channel Ma Chaîne Sport as the domestic broadcaster of the league. Canal Plus’ three-year contract (from 2016-17 to 2018-19) was worth €600,000 ($687,400) per season. Canal Plus committed to broadcasting 36 games per season with matches to be screened at 3pm on Saturdays.

The rights in the FFF’s recently-issued ITT were split up into three packages, according to L’Équipe.

Package 1 included one first-pick fixture per match week (excluding those in Package 3) with matches able to be aired between Thursday evening and Monday evening. Package 2 included eight matches per match week to be aired on Friday evenings (picks 2 to 9, also excluding those in Package 3). Finally, Package 3 included simultaneous ‘multiplex’ coverage of all matches across three match weeks and with the coverage to be shown on Friday evenings.