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LNR lands Japanese rights deal for Top 14

Japanese pay-television broadcaster Wowow has agreed a multi-year deal with the Ligue Nationale de Rugby for rights to the Top 14, the top division of French rugby union.

Under the agreement, Wowow will broadcast two to three Top 14 matches per round, as well as every final-phase match and a weekly highlights show.

The deal begins with the 2016-17 season, although Wowow will also broadcast this season’s Top 14 semi-finals on June 17-18 and the final on June 24.

The agreement will mark the first time the competition has been broadcast throughout the season in Japan, host nation of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The deal was secured with the assistance of French pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus, which looks after the international sales of Top 14 rights on behalf of the LNR.