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Lyon’s OLTV channel to leave Canal Plus platforms on July 30

LILLE, FRANCE - MARCH 08: Joachim Andersen #3 of Olympique Lyonnais shoots the ball against Victor Osimhen #7 of Lille OSC during the Ligue 1 match between Lille OSC and Olympique Lyonnais at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on March 8, 2020 in Lille, France. (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

French Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyonnais’s television channel, OLTV, will not be available on Canal Plus platforms from July 30.

The club and Canal Plus were unable to agree terms to continue the carriage arrangement, which has been in place since OLTV’s inception in 2005.

Canal Plus paid Lyon €1m ($1.12m) per year in the most recent deal to distribute the channel on its CanalSat and Canal Panorama platforms, reports L’Equipe.

The end of the carriage agreement is a blow for the channel, which hit a record average monthly audience of 1.1 million viewers in the first two months of this year, according to L’Equipe.

The club has sought to limit the damage by extending distribution contracts with Altice-owned SFR and Bouygues Telecom. It has also secured a deal with telco Free and is said to be in discussions with Orange and new-entrant Molotov.

Harry Moyal, deputy director general at Lyon, said: “It is not regressive to want to maintain a linear TV channel. We continue to think that this is part of the media arsenal of a club to reach the greatest number, especially the over 40s who have a media consumption which mainly goes through TV. This is why it is essential for us to continue OL TV.”

Lyon will also continue to broadcast the channel on its OTT platform, OLPlay.

OLTV shows pre- and post-match content, including interviews as well as match replays and audio commentary during live broadcasts.

Moyal said the channel would also show more content from the club’s US franchise OL Reign.

L’Equipe added that the Ligue 1 club and Canal Plus remain in talks about an extension to their current media-rights deal for the club’s men and women friendly matches as well as the OL Women’s Champions League matches (excluding the final). That deal is due to expire at the end of August.