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Canal Plus wins back Premier League rights in France

Canal Plus yesterday evening announced it will regain rights to England’s Premier League in France from next season.

Pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus last night tweeted that it had acquired exclusive Premier League rights in the country for the next three seasons, from 2019-20 to 2021-22.

Premier League rights in France are currently held by telco Altice, which shows coverage on its RMC Sport pay-television channels. The three-season deal, from 2016-17 to 2018-19, is widely reported by French media to be worth about €115m ($131m) per season.

French newspaper L’Équipe has reported that Canal Plus will pay a similar fee in the new cycle. Canal Plus held Premier League rights in the previous three-season cycle, from 2013-14 to 2015-16, in a deal worth about €63m per season.

The new agreement was likely struck after just one round of bidding. Bids for Premier League rights in France (and several other territories) were due yesterday between 10am and 12pm UK time.

The reclaiming of Premier League rights is good news for Canal Plus, which in May failed to acquire any rights to the domestic top-tier football league, Ligue 1, from 2020-21.

The loss of Premier League rights also raises question marks over the future of Altice’s sports-rights strategy. From next season the only premium sports property in its portfolio will be rights to the Uefa Champions League and Europa League competitions.

In a statement, Canal Plus said it had also acquired Premier League rights from 2019-20 in other European territories.