LNR stops Top 14 call for tenders, beIN Sport criticises Canal+

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 13-01-2014

The Board of French National Rugby League (LNR) has stopped its call for tenders regarding the sale of the Top 14 TV rights due to court action launched by Canal+.

Further details will be announced later, LNR said in a release.

In December, LNR launched a call for tenders after terminating, as it had the right to, its ongoing contract with Canal+ for the 2014-2016 period.

LNR now wishes to benefit from the rise of Canal+'s competitor beIN Sport and up the value of the rights, increasing them from the 31.7 million currently paid by Canal+.

In the course of December 2013, the French pay-TV channel strengthened its offer to 66 million, but LNR, which wants 70 million at least, refused.

Questioning the way LNR cancelled its contract, Canal+ has now filed legal action.

Reacting to the decision of LNR ceasing the call for bids, beIN Sport MD Youssef Al-Obaildy has criticised Canal+'s attitude, judging it as unfair competition.

Speaking to Le Figaro, he said that he doesn't rule out taking the matter to the French Competition Authority.