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‘Sport in France’ to show French top-tier ice hockey league

The ‘Sport in France’ free-to-air channel will broadcast the country’s top-tier men’s ice hockey league in the 2020-21 season.

Inventory covers around 20 live matches, with the first match to be broadcast on October 9. The season began last weekend.

The deal, which was agreed with rights-holder the French Ice Hockey Federation (FFHG), also includes one World Cup warm-up match for each of the men’s and women’s teams as well as the final of the Coupe de France knock-out competition.

The ‘Sport in France’ channel specialises in properties that do not have broadcast agreements.

The FFHG signed a long-term renewal to its production and distribution agreement with global sports streaming service Fanseat ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Ice hockey is not popular in the country. Pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus faced little to no competition when it renewed rights to the world’s highest-profile ice hockey league, the NHL, for three seasons to 2021-22.

‘Sport in France’ currently also holds rights to the top-tier women’s handball league.

The channel, which is owned by the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF), is available in around 19 million French households as part of the basic package of IPTV operators such as Bouygues Telecom, Free, Orange and SFR.