TF1 and M6 refuse to concede defeat in Euro rights battle

French commercial broadcasters TF1 and M6 have not given up hope of showing the Euro 2012 and 2016 football tournaments, despite reports that pay-television broadcaster Al Jazeera has already acquired the rights for the two Uefa events.

L’Equipe said today that although Al Jazeera was in “pole position” to acquire the rights, TF1 and M6 were still in talks with Uefa, football’s European governing body, and were “not out of the game.” The talks could result in coverage being split between Al Jazeera, M6 and TF1.

It has been widely reported that Al Jazeera, which will launch two new sports channels in France this spring, has already purchased the rights for Euro 2012 and 2016 for €85 million ($112 million), but the deal has not been confirmed. Al Jazeera reportedly outbid a joint offer of €50 million from TF1 and M6.

France will host Euro 2016, guaranteeing significant domestic interest in the tournament. Euro 2012 will take place in Poland and Ukraine, with the competition starting on June 8.