French rugby fans have wider World Cup choices

France: French rugby fans will have a wide choice of how to watch the 2011 World Cup after commercial broadcasters TF1 and Canal+ and public broadcaster France Televisions signed a joint agreement on rights to the event. The TF1 Group owns exclusive rights to the international rugby union championships, being held in New Zealand from September 9 to October 23, but has passed on the rights for 28 of the 48 matches to Canal+ and France Televisions.

TF1 will have full coverage of the Rugby World Cup on its various channels and platforms but viewers will also be able to watch 28 live games on France Televisions’ France 2 and France 3 channels and Canal+, including France versus Tonga on October 1 in the group phases and two quarterfinals.

France Televisions will additionally cover the event through its sports magazine programmes and have live and exclusive broadcasts of the French team’s two warm-up matches against Ireland in August. Canal+ will re-broadcast all 48 RWC games as well as transmitting live the selected 28 matches, which will also be available through the broadcaster’s On Demand service.

TF1 is to transmit 20 matches live, including important group-phase encounters, with three involving the France team, two quarterfinals, the semi-final, third place decider and the final. It will also cover the opening, closing and trophy presentation ceremonies live.

As well as the live games and special reports on TF1 itself, there will also be coverage on Eurosport, LCI and The website will have 20 live games, all 48 matches on catch-up and other exclusive video.

Host broadcast coverage is being produced by SKY Television New Zealand, with high definition transmissions from 13 venues across both islands of New Zealand. SKY will provide facilities and international feeds for all 48 games, distributing coverage around the world to the broadcast partners of Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL).

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