Six Champions League group matches will not be broadcast by any television channel in France this year. Explanations.

The beIN Sports TV channel will not be able to broadcast all the Champions League matches this season: six group matches will not be broadcast in France this year, including two from Manchester City and two from RB Leipzig. However, the Qatari channel has acquired the rights to all the matches of the competition, with the exception of the two posters broadcast by Canal and RMC Sport. These are in fact the six matches in the group stage of Young Boys Berne which will not be broadcast in France: two against the Citizens, two against Leipzig and two against Red Star Belgrade. In question, a controversial sponsor: “Plus 500”, an actor in the field of trading, is the jersey sponsor of the Swiss club. “The DGCCRF (Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control) considers that this is illegal, prohibited advertising for a risky financial product,” explains the general secretary of beIN Media Group to Ouest France. , Caroline Guenneteau.

This is not the first time that beIN Sports has found itself in a delicate situation. At the start of 2023, the channel had already been deprived of broadcasting Atalanta matches in Serie A, because the Bergamasques had the same sponsor. The problem is resolved since the Italian club changed partners this summer. To understand the origin of this sanction, we must go back to the Europa League final between Olympique de Marseille and Atlético de Madrid in 2018. At the time, the Madrid club wore the colors of the company trading in question. The M6 ​​group and beIN Sports, co-broadcasters of the meeting, were the subject of a complaint which led to an injunction. The beIn Sports channel has since appealed, deeming the sanction unfair. “It’s a championship that takes place abroad, over which we have no control. The sanction is a little harsh,” believes Caroline Guenneteau.

This ban only concerns the M6 ​​and beIn Sports groups, since they are the only ones targeted by the complaint and then the injunction. This means that if the rights to the Young Boys Berne matches had been acquired by another channel, it would have had the right to broadcast the match. This could have been the case if the Swiss had fallen into the PSG pool for example, Canal and RMC Sport broadcasting these matches because they have the first two match choices for each day. Caroline Guenneteau explains: “This should affect all broadcasters. Otherwise, we could provide an exception for championships taking place abroad. We will try to work together.” In the meantime, French viewers will be deprived of two matches of the outgoing Champions League winners.