TF1 opens up rights package to 2015 Rugby World Cup

French commercial broadcaster TF1 has issued a tender to pay-television operators for the sublicensing of a rights package to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, according to L’Equipe.

The French newspaper said TF1 is offering a package of 29 games, 27 of which will be available on an exclusive basis. TF1 is said to be offering the chance to co-broadcast two quarter final games, along with the ability to produce a dedicated magazine programme during next year’s rugby union showpiece.

L’Equipe said TF1 will retain exclusive rights to France’s group stage games against Ireland, Italy and Canada, along with the opening match, the bronze medal game, the semi-finals and the final itself.

TF1 acquired rights for the 2015 World Cup, which will take place in England, in a deal struck in November 2013.

The deal included live coverage and highlights of all 48 matches and covered television, online and mobile rights.

Tournament owner Rugby World Cup Limited said that the deal followed a “highly-competitive” tender process, adding that the agreement represented a “significant financial commitment.”

The announcement extended TF1’s partnership with the Rugby World Cup after the broadcaster showed the 2007 and 2011 tournaments, which were hosted by France and New Zealand, respectively.