L'Equipe to show French Athletics Championships as RMC deal cut short
The FFA, the French Athletics Federation, has signed a short-term deal with L’Équipe, the free-to-air digital terrestrial channel, for next month's French Athletics Championships after an agreement with RMC Sport, the pay-TV operator, was terminated early.
L'Equipe will show the Championships in Albi on 12 and 13 September, as well as the Marseille meeting on the World Athletics Continental Tour on 3 September.
The FFA has assumed host broadcast responsibilities for both events.
RMC's four-year, €4-million ($4.74-million) contract with the FFA was due to expire at the end of this year, but a mutual termination of the deal was agreed with the Altice-owned broadcaster scaling back its sports coverage in France.
Souad Rochdi, the FFA director general, told L’Équipe newspaper: “From now on, our main objective is to be the most visible on free-to-air television during this Olympiad, culminating with the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. We are convinced that when athletics is visible, there is an audience.”
The FFA is set to issue an invitation to tender for its broadcast rights for the 2021 to 2024 cycle in the fourth quarter.
Prior to RMC, pay-TV's Canal Plus held rights to the French Athletics Championships.
Altice announced earlier in May that it was cutting its sports rights expenditure in France as part of a restructuring plan to deal with the financial impact of the global coronavirus pandemic.
It said at the time the “gradual cessation of sports competitions" will begin with rights in athletics, tennis and horse racing.
Its rights deal for the Paris meeting in athletics’ top-tier Diamond League, which began in 2017 and expires this year, will not be extended.