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Sport in France delivers TV exposure boost for CEV Champions League

Volleyball’s CEV Champions League has received an exposure boost in France, after a deal was struck with the French Olympic Committee’s ‘Sport in France’ channel.

The deal has been supported by the French Volleyball Federation (FFVB), which has been looking to ensure improved coverage of the men’s and women’s Champions League competitions in order to provide the country’s players with greater exposure.

Nantes VB and RC Cannes are the two French sides in this season’s women’s competition and Tours VB is the only French outfit in the men’s tournament.

A total of nine group-stage fixtures will be broadcast by Sport in France, beginning with the match tonight between Nantes VB and Romania’s CSM Volei Alba Blaj, followed by the clash between RC Cannes and Bulgaria’s Maritza Plovdiv. The first Tours match to be covered will be the fixture against Italy’s Sir Colussi Sicoma Perugia on December 11.

Guillaume Sampic, managing director of Media365, the production partner of Sport in France, said that the broadcasting of the competitions “once again justifies the existence of the Sport in France channel”.

The channel is available in around 19 million French households as part of the basic package of IPTV operators such as Bouygues Telecom, Free, Orange and SFR.

Eurosport, the pan-European sports broadcaster, shows selected CEV Champions League games live in France (and Germany) under a deal that covers the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. Upon announcing the agreement two years ago, Eurosport committed to showing at least one live game from the men’s tournament each match day (plus streaming on Eurosport Player).

Eurosport France already airs selected live games from the women’s Champions League and is scheduled to broadcast coverage this evening on its Eurosport 2 channel.

The Sportradar agency distributes the CEV Champions League broadcast rights. Matches are also streamed by eurovolley.tv, the OTT subscription service launched by the CEV, European volleyball’s continental federation, and Sportradar.

The Sport in France channel shot to prominence in September when it was announced as the broadcaster of France’s top-tier women’s handball league, ending the threat of a broadcast blackout for the competition.

That deal covers 20 live Ligue Féminine de Handball matches, comprising 16 regular season fixtures and four play-off matches, including the play-off semi-finals and final.