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Canal Plus Afrique acquires French-language Bundesliga rights

Bayern Munich's Thomas Mueller vies for ball with Leverkusen's Edmond Tapsoba (Photo by MATTHIAS HANGST/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The African arm of French pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus has acquired the French-language rights to the German Bundesliga in sub-Saharan Africa in a three-season deal.

Canal Plus Afrique’s rights cover the three-season period between 2020-21 and 2022-23, and include the top-tier Bundesliga, second-tier Bundesliga 2 and the German Supercup.

The deal was agreed between the broadcaster and Bundesliga International, the league’s international commercial rights arm.

Pay-television broadcaster StarTimes previously held the rights to the Bundesliga across sub-Saharan Africa in a five-season deal for the 2015-16 to 2019-20 seasons.

Canal Plus Afrique held exclusive French-language rights to LaLiga in a deal running from 2015-16 to 2019-20. The broadcaster has retained French-language rights to LaLiga from 2020-21 onwards, but on a co-exclusive basis with StarTimes.

SportBusiness understands that Bundesliga International is in the process of finalising announcements for its English- and Portuguese-language rights in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as a package of free-to-air rights, which similar European leagues have launched in recent years.

The English Premier League sold its free-to-air rights in the region to the Infront agency, while Spain’s LaLiga agreed a deal with the MBS agency earlier this month.

At the start of the month, the Bundesliga finalised its sale of broadcast rights in Indonesia to OTT and pay-television platform Mola TV in a five-year deal (from 2020-21 to 2024-25). This followed on from a five-year agreement in Vietnam with the Next Media agency.

Robert Klein, Bundesliga International chief executive, said today (Friday): “For the next three years, Canal+ and the Bundesliga will work together to bring fans closer to German football in Africa. We know that African football fans are incredibly passionate about football, which fits perfectly with our mantra of delivering ‘Football As Its Meant To Be‘. Together with our partners in the region, we want to convey this message to Africa and further grow our local fanbase.”