French commercial broadcaster TF1 will exclusively show this year’s Rugby World Cup in its home territory, it said on Wednesday.
TF1 agreed in April last year to renew its media-rights deal with rights-holder World Rugby for the 2019 tournament. At the time, it was reported that the broadcaster would likely sublicense the rights, as it did in 2015 with pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus, but this will not be the case.
It will broadcast all 48 matches of the tournament, which takes place in Japan from September 20 to November 2. TF1 said this marks the first time a single media group will broadcast the entire competition on free-to-air television in France.
As part of the 2019 renewal, SportBusiness Media understands TF1 also has an option to acquire rights to the 2023 tournament, which will be held in France.