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M6 to bid for 2023 Rugby World Cup rights

French commercial broadcaster M6 has said it will bid for broadcast rights in the host nation for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Fellow commercial broadcaster TF1 held exclusive rights in France to last year’s World Cup and was understood to have an option to acquire rights to the 2023 tournament. However, a tender process is expected to launch in the autumn.

Speaking to French broadcaster BFM Business today (Monday), president Nicolas de Tavernost said M6 “would certainly be a candidate in the autumn for at least one of the lots that will be offered for this World Cup”.

In December, it was announced that live action from the Uefa Europa League would return to the schedules of M6 after the broadcaster acquired a package of rights to the European club football tournament from 2021-22 to 2023-24.

Having been displaced as the rights-holder by telecoms operator Altice from 2018-19 onwards in the 2017 rights auction, M6 secured a package of free-to-air rights for 16 matches per season during the new cycle.

A month earlier, M6 and TF1 jointly acquired free-to-air rights in France to selected matches from Uefa Euro 2020. The broadcasters will share coverage of 23 matches out of the total of 51 that will be played at the tournament, which takes place from June 12 to July 12 across 12 European countries.