Toulouse Olympique working with Catalans Dragons on French TV strategy

Super League new boys Toulouse Olympique are hoping that their promotion to the top flight will be the catalyst for a deal to put Rugby League back on television screens in France.

The Olympians are working alongside Catalans Dragons and the French RL Federation on a strategy to appeal to French broadcasters in a bid to have regular live coverage of games at Stade Ernest Wallon and Stade Gilbert Brutus.

Toulouse chief executive Cedric Garcia told League Express: “Television coverage in France is so important. There are two levels of sport, with or without TV, and there is a massive difference between them both.

“It was always part of our plan that if we could get into Super League, we might add more weight to Catalans Dragons’ appeal to French broadcasters.

“We’re working with Catalans and the French Federation to have a common strategy for TV in France and we are holding a meeting to see the best way forward, with the approval of Super League of course.”

Garcia said it was crucial that Rugby League in France received “the oxygen” of live coverage to raise the game’s profile and make it more attractive to sponsors and supporters.

“It is an absolute priority for a professional sport and we are trying to put together the best strategy and scenario in which we can make this happen,” he added.

“We are still waiting for official confirmation, but if the Rugby League World Cup is to be held in France in 2025 it is so important that we have established relationships with television companies.

“We have a massive opportunity here for French Rugby League and it is crucial that we seize it.”

Toulouse’s first Super League match will be televised, with Sky Sports showing the visit of Huddersfield Giants on Saturday 12th February.

Garcia said: “The good news is that on the first weekend of the season, Catalans are away so we are hoping to draw a huge French crowd in front of Sky Sports’ TV cameras and hopefully French TV too.”

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