Some HUGE Champions Cup News Has Emerged In Terms Of Broadcast Rights
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Champions Cup rugby will be shown live on free-to-air television in the UK and Ireland next season for the first time since 2003, The Telegraph have exclusively revealed.
The report suggests the tournament organisers (EPCR) are on the verge of agreeing a deal with TV3 in Ireland and Channel 4 in the UK to bring European matches back to terrestrial television for the first time in over 15 years.
The deal will see at least one match shown on Channel 4 and TV3 during each of the six pool stages and may also include some of the knock-out stages.
BT Sport secured the rights to broadcast the tournament next season, which will no longer be shared between them and Sky Sports. But it has been understood all along that plans to broadcast some games free-to-air were being discussed.
It’s a move that’s been mooted for quite some time, and it’s believed it will help boost the profile of the competition. BT are said to be happy to share some of the broadcasting of live games to increase the profile of the tournament, with the hope of then attracting new subscribers.
The deal is similar to an agreement between BT Sport and Channel 5 to allow the terrestrial broadcaster to show some live Premiership matches this season.
With the PRO14 no longer set to be shown on terrestrial UK television, this would be a hugely welcome move for fans. Irish fans meanwhile will likely now have PRO14, Champions Cup and Six Nations rugby to look forward to free-to-air next season.