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TF1 agrees free-to-air IHF World Championships deal in France

French commercial broadcaster TF1 has reached an agreement to show finals of the men’s and women’s International Handball Federation World Championships with French participation.

The deal covers free-to-air rights to the finals of the next four editions of both the men’s and women’s championships: in 2019, 2021, 2023 and 2025.

TF1 struck the deal with the Lagardère Sports agency, which is distributing rights to the IHF men’s and women’s World Championships globally, from 2019 to 2025. The IHF had originally awarded these rights to the MP & Silva agency; Lagardère took up the contract after the latter’s demise.

TF1 agreed similar deals for the finals of the men’s World Championships in 2015 and 2017 (which attracted 9.1 million and 8.7 million viewers respectively), and for the final of the women’s World Championships in 2017 (which was watched by 4.3 million people). The French team won each of these finals.

The agreement with TF1 is the second IHF deal for the French market. Pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports last month secured rights to the same four sets of men’s and women’s World Championships. Lagardère has struck this latest deal with TF1 as local listed events legislation mandates that a final of the men’s or women’s World Championships with French participation must be available free-to-air.