TF1 moves for Tokyo 2020 handball qualifiers rights

French free-to-air commercial broadcaster TF1 has built on its handball coverage by acquiring rights to the Olympic qualifying tournament in which the national team will compete.

France will host one of three Tokyo 2020 qualifying events at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris from April 17-19.

TF1’s digital terrestrial TMC channel will broadcast France’s three games in the tournament, against Croatia, Tunisia and Portugal, respectively, reports L’Équipe. France need to finish first or second to qualify for this year’s Olympic Games.

In November, TF1 sublicensed, from pay-television broadcaster beIN, matches involving the national teams at the men’s and women’s European Championships until 2024. Under the deal, TF1 secured non-exclusive free-to-air rights to up to five matches in each competition for the 2020, 2022 and 2024 editions.

That agreement marks the first time that TF1 will broadcast matches from the men’s European Championships. The commercial broadcaster did show matches from the women’s 2018 tournament (also sublicensed from beIN).

The European Championships’ sublicensing agreement is similar in structure to TF1 and beIN’s accord for the men’s and women’s IHF World Championships from 2019 to 2025. That agreement does not include the final of the tournaments as TF1 holds a separate deal with the Lagardère Sports agency in the case of French participation.