Catalans Dragons and the Betfred Super League will have a higher national profile in France in 2023 thanks to a new broadcast agreement with the digital platform L’Equipe.
Under the agreement, five of the Dragons fixtures are confirmed for live coverage through L’Equipe’s website and app in the first half of the 2023 Betfred Super League season: their away games at Wigan Warriors on March 9 and at Leeds Rhinos on March 25; their home fixtures against Warrington Wolves on April 8 and against St Helens on May 5; and their Magic Weekend match against Wigan Warriors on June 3.
Emmanuel Alix, the Digital Director at L’Équipe, said:
“After broadcasting the Rugby League World Cup, we are delighted to offer the best of the club competition with the presence of the only French team – the Catalans Dragons. This partnership is part of the promise of the L’Équipe platform to offer the biggest competitions and to discover all sports.”
Bernard Guasch, Catalans Dragons Chairman, said :
‘I’m delighted with this new agreement with L’Équipe. This is a great news for our fans but also for the Super League competition.”
Rhodri Jones, the Managing Director of RL Commercial, said:
“We are delighted to announce this new agreement with L’Equipe, which will increase the profile of the Catalans Dragons and the Betfred Super League across France.
“It adds to our existing range of domestic and global deals as we look forward to the action of another Super League season – which kicks off this weekend with three televised fixtures and also the World Club Challenge from Sydney.
“We have benefited from the sport’s long-term partnership with IMG in securing this deal, and we are also grateful to our international broadcast partners and the RDA agency who have been working with us for five years to raise Super League’s global profile.”
L’Equipe join a growing list of broadcast partners across five continents as the global reach of the Betfred Super League continues to grow, in partnership with the RDA agency and the sport’s strategic partners IMG.
However, for some French fans this isn’t sufficient and they have started a petition for more rugby league on French TV on Change.org.
The reasons behind it, have been outlined:
“The sport introduced in France in 1934 called The Greatest Game by the Australians has not been broadcast on the major national channel France 2 for more than 33 years. Rugby at 65-68 minutes of effective playing time, airy because 26 players instead of 15, with simple rules, defensive line at 10m, no stoppage of play for keys, no devastating rucks, nor mauls where players pile up at 15, no stoppage for substitutions, nor scrums pressed, just 80% play by hand!
“An extraordinary show. It is high time to publicize this Rugby of the Future. The 2025 World Cup is fast approaching, it will be organized as a unique France opportunity to offer the French public the matches and until then to do as during the 60s and 70s of the time of the ORTF broadcast at least the finals of the Championship of France and Cup.”
You can sign the petition here.