TF1 acquires rights to handball World Championships finals from Lagardère
TF1, the French commercial broadcaster, has acquired exclusive free-to-air rights in its home market to show the finals of handball’s men’s and women’s World Championships, in an agreement struck with the Lagardère Sports agency.
The deal announced last night covers the 2019, 2021, 2023 and 2025 editions of the showpiece competitions. However, TF1 is committed to broadcasting the finals only if the French team qualifies. Under French 'listed events' rules, finals of the competition involving French teams must be shown free-to-air.
Last month, BeIN Sports, the pay-TV broadcaster, retained rights in France to show the competitions.
TF1 showed the finals of the 2015 and 2017 men’s World Championships, drawing 9.1 million and 8.7 million viewers, respectively. It also showed the women’s final in 2017, attracting 4.3 million viewers. All three tournaments were won by France. Rights for the 2017 finals were sub-licensed to TF1 by BeIN.
Next year’s men’s World Championship takes place from 10 to 27 January in Germany and Denmark, while the women’s tournament will be held from 30 November to 15 December in Japan.
Lagardère Sports was recently appointed to distribute the International Handball Federation’s worldwide rights from 2019 to 2025 after the scrapping of a €150-million ($170.6-million) contract with MP & Silva amid the agency’s financial demise.
Last month, Lagardère agreed a deal for IHF rights, also until 2025, with German public-service broadcasters ARD and ZDF.
During the IHF’s invitation to tender process for the new rights period, the federation stressed the importance of ensuring free-to-air coverage in host countries and key handball territories including France, plus Germany, Spain, Croatia, Serbia, Poland, the Nordic countries, Russia and Brazil.