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BeIN wins French pay-TV rights to all Euro 2020 matches

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports has landed rights to all 51 matches, including 28 of them exclusively, to this summer’s Euro 2020 football championship, which will be staged across 12 European cities.

The deal rounds off the sale of Euro 2020 rights in France following the acquisition by M6 and TF1, the free-to-air commercial broadcasters, of rights to a combined 23 matches.

The agreement with beIN comprises linear and digital live rights to all matches, plus all highlights, near-live and on-demand clips and other support programming.

In securing the Euro 2020 rights, beIN has agreed to pay a fee of around €35m ($39m), SportBusiness understands.

The Qatar-backed broadcaster paid €60m for rights to all matches at Euro 2016, but managed to recoup around €15m from the on-sale to TF1 of non-exclusive rights to 11 matches.

Announcing the agreement, beIN, which continues to be affected by the beoutQ piracy operation, underlined its commitment “to bid proportionately for premium sport”.

The Euro 2020 deal follows on from the acquisition of Uefa Champions League rights by beIN and Canal Plus, its erstwhile rival, from 2021-22 to 2023-24. That rights swoop was swiftly followed by the announcement that beIN and Canal Plus had struck an exclusive carriage agreement, including the on-sale of beIN’s Ligue 1 rights to the Vivendi-owned broadcaster.

Mediapro, the agency and production group launching football subscription channels in France, was interested in the Euro 2020 rights but withdrew from the race given the size of the rights fee asking price, reports L’Équipe.

Jaume Roures, Mediapro’s chief executive, last month sought to play down any interest in the Euro 2020 rights, telling the French sports newspaper: “It’s a competition with lots of free-to-air matches. The value to attract subscribers is very small. It is not part of our project.”

In acquiring the free-to-air rights to a combined 23 matches from Euro 2020, TF1 and M6 are paying a total of €50m. The free-to-air inventory comprises 12 group-stage matches, including the opening match and those of the French national team; five round-of-16 matches; three quarter-finals; the two semi-finals; and the final. The pair have shared the free-to-air rights to the tournament since 2008.

The CAA Eleven agency initially went to market in France by inviting Euro 2020 rights bids in May 2018. However, the rights auction was scrapped due to the level of rights bids and deals were subsequently agreed during private negotiations.

The last two editions of the European Championships have been broadcast in France by beIN. Indeed, the broadcaster used the Euro 2012 tournament as a launchpad for its new service in France (as Al Jazeera Sport).

Yousef Al-Obaidly, the chief executive of beIN Media Group, said today (Tuesday): “With its new 24-team format, this year’s European Championship is bigger and better than ever before – so we are delighted to extend our long-term partnership with Uefa and continue to bring the very best of sport to our valued subscriber-base.”

Guy-Laurent Epstein, Uefa marketing director, added: “We are delighted to extend our valued relationship with beIN Media Group, whose sports network beIN Sports constantly delivers outstanding coverage of our competitions to football fans in over 30 countries around the world. In all our broadcast partners we look for broadcast innovation and the highest quality of programming, and beIN is undoubtedly a flag-bearer in both regards.”