Catalans’ hope for new TV deal

Live TV coverage of Super League fixtures in Perpignan could resume for the rest of the season following talks between Catalans Dragons club officials and a French broadcasting company.

The Dragons were left in the dark at the end of last season when BeIn Sports refused to continue to finance production costs for televising games at Stade Gilbert Brutus and the first three home games of this campaign went uncovered.

However, a new relationship between the club and pay-TV sports channel L’Equipe has raised the possibility of a return to live coverage when the season starts again next month.

L’Equipe have already agreed to buy Sky TV’s coverage of the Dragons’ opening away games in the UK during August for French viewers and now discussions are taking place with a view to the channel covering fixtures at the Brutus.

If L’Equipe is prepared to cover production costs, this leaves the door open for a similar arrangement to the previous TV contract with BeIn, which allowed Sky to broadcast the pictures live from Perpignan.

Dragons President Bernard Guasch (pictured) is keen to see his club back on television as soon as possible and he told Perpignan’s L’Indépendant newspaper: “We have made a proposal to L’Equipe channel and we are continuing to hold discussions regarding the possibility of covering games at the Brutus.”

The current deal will ensure that French supporters will have the chance to see Catalans play away to St Helens, Wigan, Castleford and Salford. It remains to be seen whether any further partnership between the Dragons and L’Equipe will allow French and English supporters to see live matches in Perpignan.

Sky Sports have already committed to covering an unspecified number of games in the south of France, and with just eight fixtures left on this year’s schedule, hopes are high that L’Equipe will complete the TV fixture list.

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