L'Equipe to show 40 LNB games in deal for 2020-21 season
The LNB, the French professional basketball league, has finalised a domestic broadcast rights deal with L'Equipe, the free-to-air digital terrestrial channel.
L’Equipe’s deal is initially for the upcoming 2020-21 season, which begins on 25 September. with a match-up between Asvel and Dijon.
The channel will show at least 40 games from the regular season and playoffs, which the LNB said is a record number since the league's inception in 1987.
The coverage will include an LNB show each Monday evening over the course of the campaign, as well as an additional game every Saturday evening, plus highlights of other games.
The free-to-air channel will also show the LFB, the French women's basketball league, with coverage of the regular season and the finals, along with the men's and women's French Cup finals.
The LNB’s top two leagues have been shown domestically on Ma Chaîne Sport and RMC Sport, two pay-TV networks owned by Altice, since 2015, but that five-year deal came to an end at the conclusion of last season and Altice has been scaling back its sports operations in France.
That deal was reported to be worth €50 million ($59.3 million) in total.
The LNB and the French Basketball Federation reportedly attempted to secure a renewal with RMC Sport before agreeing a late deal with L’Equipe.
The L'Equipe channel, then L'Equipe 21, had previously broadcast matches from the LNB in 2015-16, the first year of the Altice contract.
Alain Béral, President of the LNB, said: “The LNB's TV offer has been completely redesigned this season. Having the competition broadcast every week free-to-air in order to make basketball accessible to as many people as possible was one of our priority objectives.
“The L'Equipe channel and the LNB partner again five years after their first collaboration, with a stronger ambition based on regularity and the large number of matches. Together, we are giving basketball the exposure it deserves and fans have long been clamouring for."