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Canal Plus retains Top 14 rights

French pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus has retained rights for the Top 14, the top division of rugby union in the country.

The new deal will run for four seasons, from 2019-20 to 2022-23.

The Ligue Nationale de Rugby, the operator of the Top 14, awarded Canal Plus four packages of rights, covering exclusive coverage of all regular-season games, as well as pay-television coverage of the competition’s semi-finals and final. The rights also include magazine programmes and the women’s tournament.

Bids were received by the LNR on Wednesday, with Canal Plus set to pay a total of €388m ($440m), or €97m per season.

Canal Plus will be able to show four matches per game day, with two being broadcast on Canal Plus and two being available on Canal Plus Sport. The other three matches per round will be offered on the Rugby Plus channel.

Canal Plus will show all of the games on the final day of the season via a multiplex system.

In January 2015, Canal Plus acquired Top 14 rights over the four seasons, from 2015-16 to 2018-19. In March 2015, the LNR awarded rights of the Top 14 final to Canal Plus and public-service broadcaster France Télévisions over the same four seasons.