Vivendi and Canal Group partner with ESL, the world’s largest esports company

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Paris, October 11, 2016 – Vivendi, CANAL Group and ESL, the world leader in organizing esports events, announce a major strategic partnership.

This partnership provides for the launch of the first official esports leagues in France based on the existing ESL CHAMPIONNAT NATIONAL. Under the partnership, these competitions will reach a whole new level and be shown on the CANAL Group channels, making the broadcaster a major esports player in France. Discussions are ongoing with top game publishers to select the games covered by those leagues.

The re-imagined national league will help French pro-gamers to stand out and compete against the best teams in international competitions held around the world by ESL and partnering game publishers.

ESL is the world’s largest esports company and a leader in organizing tournaments and leagues across the most popular game franchises from 12.000+ online to 36+ stadium-filling events that can bring together tens of thousands of people on-site and tens of millions more online.

CANAL Group and ESL also join forces for the development and promotion of esports in France by co-organizing in the country major international events as part of the leading global circuit. The objective is to strengthen the role of France as a key country in the international esports circuit and bring new excitement to the local eSports community in France.

Vivendi will provide important support to this initiative via Universal Music Group, Dailymotion and its activities in live events such as L’Olympia and Digitick.

This major strategic deal with the sector’s world leader marks a decisive step in the commitment of CANAL Group in esports and helps ESL to further build its leading position in France locally. CANAL Group is already a sponsor of Team Vitality, one of the best French professional teams regularly present in the most prestigious world competitions.

CANAL Group has also announced the launch on its channel of the CANAL ESPORTS CLUB, a new TV show entirely devoted to the esports phenomenon and its stars. A special documentary on esports, Game Fever, will be broadcast in prime time on the channel on October 26.

CANAL Group will also be the first major national broadcaster present at the Paris Games Week from October 27-31.

About Vivendi

Vivendi is an integrated media and content group. The company operates businesses throughout the media value chain, from talent discovery to the creation, production and distribution of content. The main subsidiaries of Vivendi comprise Canal+ Group and Universal Music Group. Canal+ is the leading pay-TV operator in France, and also serves markets in Africa, Poland and Vietnam. Canal+ operations include Studiocanal, a leading European player in production, sales and distribution of film and TV series. Universal Music Group is the world leader in recorded music, music publishing and merchandising, with more than 50 labels covering all genres. A separate division, Vivendi Village, brings together Vivendi Ticketing (ticketing in the UK, the U.S and France), MyBestPro (experts counseling), Watchever (subscription video-on-demand), Radionomy (digital radio), Olympia Production, the L’Olympia and the Theâtre de L‘Oeuvre venues in Paris and the CanalOlympia venues in Africa. With 3.5 billion videos viewed each month, Dailymotion is one of the biggest video content aggregation and distribution platforms in the world. Gameloft is aworldwide leading video games on mobile, with 2 million games downloaded per day.

About Group CANAL

Group CANAL is a leading provider of premium channels – the CANAL+ channels – and thematic channels as well as in the distribution of pay TV offerings. It is also a key player in free TV with three national channels, C8, C17 and CNEWS, and its ads sales division. Internationally, CANAL has developed a presence on high-growth territories. It is the first pay-TV operator in French-speaking countries, especially in Africa. It is also present in Poland and Vietnam. In total, the CANAL Group has over 15 million subscribers worldwide. With STUDIOCANAL, CANAL is also a European leader in the production, acquisition and distribution of feature films and TV series. Group CANAL is fully-owned by Vivendi, a global media and content production and distribution group

About ESL

ESL is the world’s largest esports company, leading the industry across the most popular video games with numerous online and offline competitions. It operates high profile, branded international and national leagues and tournaments such as the Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL One, ESL National Championships and other top tier stadium-size events, as well as grassroots amateur cups, leagues and matchmaking systems. ESL covers a broad field of services in gaming technology, event management, advertising and television production, fully catering to the needs of the esports ecosystem. With offices in North America, Germany, Russia, France, Poland, Spain, China, and partners in many other countries, it has a truly global footprint.


Press Contacts


Groupe CANAL Vivendi ESL
Laurence Gallot

+33 1 71 35 02 22

Antoine Banet-Rivet

+33 1 71 35 00 26           

Jean-Louis Erneux

+331 1 71 71 15 84

Solange Maulini

+331 1 71 71 11 73


Samy Ouerfelli

+33 662 718 653      



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