CSA: F1, Champions League could be added to French free-to-air list

Christine Kelly, the head of sport at the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel, France’s media regulator, has said that the Uefa Champions League, European football’s top club competition, and the Formula One motor-racing championship, could be added to the French government’s list of sporting events that are protected for free-to-air television.

According to French newspaper Le Parisien, Kelly said that the existing law, which was established in 1986 and reserves 21 sporting events for free-to-air television, could be modified “to prevent the migration of the Champions League and Formula One to the pay-television channels.”

She added: “In Europe, France has the longest list of protected events.”

Pay-television broadcasters beIN Sport and Canal Plus have the French rights to the Champions League in three-year deals, from 2012-13 to 2014-15, while Canal Plus acquired exclusive domestic rights for Formula One in a three-year deal, from 2013 to 2015. French commercial broadcaster TF1 showed live coverage of the Champions League and Formula One in the previous rights cycles.