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TF1 strikes Rugby World Cup deal

French commercial broadcaster TF1 has acquired rights for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which will take place in England.

The deal includes live coverage and highlights of all 48 matches and covers 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 extends 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.

Rugby World Cup Limited chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “We are extremely excited about our broadcast offering for England 2015, which is on track to deliver record numbers of broadcasters, live hours and digital and we will be shortly announcing a schedule of kick-off times that will maximise exposure and engagement.”

The French market delivered 17.8 million viewers (and an 87-per-cent audience share) for the 2011 World Cup final, when France lost 8-7 to New Zealand.

Twenty million viewers tuned in for the 2007 semi-final between France and England, which ended in a 14-9 defeat for the French, when TF1 was host broadcaster of the event.