CANAL+ Group and beIN SPORTS have initiated exclusive talks with a view to entering an exclusive distribution and sublicensing deal in France.

Under the proposed agreement, CANAL+ would offer all beIN SPORTS premium sports channels and content within its CANAL+ offers, while also being the exclusive distributor of beIN SPORTS to third-party providers across all platforms in France starting 1st June 2020.  In addition, under the contemplated agreement, beIN SPORTS would also sublicense exclusively its 2020-2024 Ligue 1 football rights to CANAL+, allowing CANAL+’s subscribers to enjoy two games on each match day, including 28 of the 38 top Ligue 1 games of each season, starting from next season 2020/2021.

The exclusive agreement would run for a renewable period of 5 years.

The global media industry has seen the emergence of powerful vertically-integrated players, and also up-start OTT offerings, that have transformed and crowded the competition landscape for sports broadcasters around the world, including in France. The new CANAL+ and beIN SPORTS partnership would allow CANAL+ to market an unparalleled sports offering bolstered by beIN SPORTS’ outstanding rights portfolio (across football, handball, major US sports, rugby and tennis), while beIN SPORTS would benefit from the expertise, distribution know-how and infrastructure of CANAL+ to establish much broader scale and reach across the French market.

CANAL+ and beIN SPORTS, which would both retain their identities, brands and editorial autonomy, would continue to respond independently to sports rights tenders.

This partnership would also benefit and create value for the French TV and films production industry, of which CANAL+ is the largest investor.

The contemplated agreement will be submitted to beIN SPORTS’s employee representative bodies in France.

Yousef Al-Obaidly, President of beIN SPORTS FRANCE and CEO of beIN MEDIA GROUP, said: “This deal would be extremely positive for beIN SPORTS and for sports fans in France. It secures our long-term business sustainability while giving beIN SPORTS much more scale and reach across the French market. I’m extremely proud of what we have achieved in France in such a short time since our launch in 2012. Effectively we’ve grown the business from a start-up to be one of the leading sports broadcasters in the country. And we have ambitious and long-term plans to grow the business even further in France, of which this partnership is an important first step.

Maxime Saada, Chairman of the CANAL+ Group Executive Board, said: “We are very excited with the prospect of partnering with beIN SPORTS over this ambitious project, which is great news for our subscribers and all sports fans. Thanks to this deal, CANAL+ would continue to broadcast Ligue 1 beyond the current season with 28 of the top 38 games of each season exclusive until 2024. In addition, CANAL+ would strengthen its long-standing partnership with beIN SPORTS by becoming the channel’s exclusive distributor in France helping it to further extend its reach. beIN SPORTS has an amazing sport offer which perfectly complements our own offer to please and entertain all sports fans in the country.