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France Télévisions retains Top 14 final rights

The final of rugby union’s Top 14 will continue to receive free-to-air coverage on France Télévisions after the public broadcaster struck a new rights agreement with the Ligue Nationale de Rugby, operator of France’s top two divisions.

The new four-year contract runs from 2019-20 to 2022-23 and extends France Télévisions’ long-running association with the LNR since the league body’s creation in 1998.

France Télévisions and pay-TV broadcaster Canal Plus will continue to both show live coverage of the showpiece game. Canal Plus’ new Top 14 contract takes effect this season and is worth €97m ($106.5m) per year.

Listed events legislation in France stipulate that the Top 14 final must be aired on free-to-air television.

The 2018-19 Top 14 final between Toulouse and Clermont attracted an average audience of 3.2 million viewers on the France 2 channel (and a 17.2-per-cent market share). Canal Plus pulled in an audience of 792,000 subscribers for the game.

This season’s final will take place on June 26, 2020 and will once again be co-broadcast by France 2 and Canal Plus.