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Rugby: the LNR launches its call for tenders for the Top 14 and Pro D2

The steering committee of the National Rugby League (LNR) has “validated the launch of the call for tenders” relating to the exploitation of the audiovisual rights of the Top 14 and the Pro D2 from the 2027-2028 season and until in 2030-2031, the governing body announced on Tuesday.

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Rugby: the LNR launches its call for tenders for the Top 14 and Pro D2

The steering committee of the National Rugby League (LNR) has “validated the launch of the call for tenders” relating to the exploitation of the audiovisual rights of the Top 14 and the Pro D2 from the 2027-2028 season and until in 2030-2031, the governing body announced on Tuesday.

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This call for tenders is made up of four lots, or “packs”, according to a press release from the LNR, which specifies that offers from candidates are expected on May 22. This launch, says René Bouscatel, the president of the LNR, quoted in the press release, “comes in the context of a very positive dynamic for French rugby: the championships have never been so intense and attractive, the enthusiasm of public progresses each season, French clubs and the French team perform on the European and international scene.

This “dynamic” was further reinforced by the 2023 World Cup in France, making rugby “the second most followed sport” in France, he adds. The French first and second division championships are currently broadcast by Canal, the “historic” operator (since 1998, editor's note), which acquired the rights until the end of the 2026-2027 season for 121.6 million euros. euros (113.6 million for the Top 14).

According to certain sources, broadcasters like BeINSports, which already broadcasts the Champions Cup, Amazon or the sports streaming platform DAZN, could be interested. Packs 1 and 2 of the call for tenders validated by the LNR offer broadcasting rights relating “exclusively” to the Top 14, “both for live regular season matches and for final phase matches, and a magazine.

Pack 3 offers two Top 14 matches and two Pro D2 matches in the regular season, final phase matches (a play-off and a semi-final of each competition) “as well as a magazine each day where the championships are contested” , underlines the LNR.

“For the first time, the expiry of the audiovisual contracts of the two championships (Top 14 and Pro D2) are aligned, which allows the LNR to offer them together for the cycle starting in 2027-2028,” explains Emmanuel Eschalier, the general director of the LNR, quoted in the press release.

“This mixed pack is a novelty, made possible by the joint marketing of the two championships, on which we tried to work on their complementarity,” he told AFP.

Finally, pack 4 is dedicated to Pro D2, specifies the press release: it allows you to broadcast “all the matches in the regular season and the final phase, and the official magazine of the competition” every day.

In total, for all the lots, a global reserve price has been set at 130 million euros per season, affirms the LNR which, according to the specialized biweekly Midi-Olympique, would aim for the total sum of 140 million.

Questioned on this subject by AFP, Mr. Eschalier replied that he would be careful not to “quote any figure” but, he added, “we must be as reasonable as we are ambitious”.

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