By Stuart Thomson
French pay TV provider Canal+ has struck an agreement with the countrys Ligue Nationale de Rugby over terms of payment for the pay TV operators rights to the current season of the Top 14 and PRO D2 competitions, which have been suspended due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Under the terms of the agreement Canal+ will pay a definitive lump sum to the league due for the rights to the remainder of the current season, with concessions made by the league over the duration of the contract, according to the pay TV operator.
Canal+ said that the deal, which would be beneficial for both parties, would permit French professional rugby to neutralise the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on the rights held by the pay TV operator and would enable Canal+ to improve the terms of its deal with the rugby league for the remainder of the contract, which runs until 2023.
Canal+ was reportedly due to pay a final tranche of €15 million(US$16.87million) for rights to the current season at the time of its suspension.
The agreement between the pair stands in contrast to the ongoing dispute over payment for rights to Ligue 1 football. Rights to the next season of the latter have been granted to a rival broadcaster, Mediapro, which this week announced a partnership with commercial broadcaster TF1 to launch a new channel to carry next years competition, Téléfoot.