Canal+ has confirmed it is to have an exclusive five-year distribution deal with beIN Sports, following weeks of speculation about such a deal.
Canal+ said that the agreement would allow the two players to provide their customers with an improved offering at a time when the TV industry was facing the emergence of new global players.
It said that the deal would enable Canal+ to present a complete and coherent sport offering and attract a greater number of subscribers.
The group said that beIN Sports’ brand would be preserved under the new arrangement and the pair will continue to act independently in relation to bidding for sports rights in the future.
In an statement evidently aimed at France’s football league, which has expressed concern about the implications of a deal for its own finances, Canal+ said that the agreement was in the interest of all players that sports competitions are as well-financed as possible in order to deliver something that TV households will value.
Canal+ said that the deal would also help it fulfill its role as the principal supporter of content creation and the cinema industry in France. The group has struggled with ongoing losses, and parent company Vivendi has sown doubts about its ability to continue to support content creation at the same level without change.
The deal with beIN Sports is still subject to approval by the country’s regulatory authorities, notably the competition watchdog. Approval will require the removal of a stipulation dating from the time of the merger of Canalsat and TPS that the pay TV provider should make its premium content available to third parties until 2017.