Row erupts over French Top 14 TV rights
March 19, 2014
The dispute over the rights to cover the French Top 14 has again surfaced with reports in the local media that Qatar-backed beIN Sports has lodged a compliant with the Competition Authority against the decision to award the contract to Canal+.
In January , the Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR), the organisation that runs domestic rugby in France, announced a new five-year deal with Canal+ for the TV rights to screen the Top 14 exclusively live through until the end of the 2018-19 season. This came weeks after the LNR had said it was going to put the rights out to tender.
But beIN Sports are now saying it is bringing "all proceedings before the competent authorities" because of what it described as an absence of "fair and honest competition".
Paul Goze, the president of the LNR, said he had heard nothing, adding: "Maybe we will be told in the coming days."
Canal+ and beIN Sports are also in dispute over other sporting rights in France.
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The Top 14's bumper television deal could be under threat after French authorities ruled that broadcaster Canal+ was awarded the exclusive rights in an unfair manner