Sky Sports and ERC have announced 37 live televised fixtures from the first four rounds of the 2009/10 Heineken Cup – more than ever before.
Viewers can watch up to ten live ties from each of the first four rounds, with all 24 competing teams featuring at least twice.
At least one match will be screened each Friday, three each Saturday, and two each Sunday, with extra select Heineken Cup matches available live to Sky Digital viewers through the interactive function by pressing the red button.
Many games will also be shown exclusively live throughout Ireland and the UK in High Definition, with Sky+ HD viewers offered a cinema-like experience with sharper, clearer, more vibrant pictures.
Sky Sports’ live coverage will kick off on Friday, October 9 with Leinster opening the defence of their title against last year’s Guinness Premiership finalists London Irish.
Announcing the fixtures, Martin Turner, executive producer for rugby union at Sky Sports, said: “The Heineken Cup is Europe’s premier club rugby tournament, and it’s fantastic to be able to provide viewers with even more games to choose from, with every team being shown at least twice.
“Our extensive live match schedule and highlights, previews and analysis means that we’re giving this tournament the coverage it deserves.”
Derek McGrath, ERC Chief Executive, said: “With the quality of the teams competing packed with internationals players from across the globe, European rugby fans have a wealth of world-class rugby to look forward to when the 15th Heineken Cup kicks-off in October.
“Sky Sports’ innovative and comprehensive coverage of the Heineken Cup continues to drive the appeal of the tournament and fans will once more be spoilt for choice for live Heineken Cup action each European weekend.”
Highlights, analysis and a comprehensive round-up of the weekend’s matches will be shown on ‘European Rugby Special’, a weekly programme broadcast every Sunday of the tournament.
SKY SPORTS’ LIVE HEINEKEN CUP FIXTURES INVOLVING THE IRISH PROVINCES:
Round 1 Friday 09 Leinster v London Irish 8pm
Round 1 Saturday 10 Northampton Saints v Munster 6pm
Round 2 Saturday 17 Munster v Benetton Treviso 1.35pm
Round 2 Saturday 17 Edinburgh Rugby v Ulster* 5.30pm
Round 2 Saturday 17 CA Brive Correze v Leinster 4.45pm
Round 3 Friday 11 Munster v USA Perpignan 8.00pm
Round 3 Saturday 12 Ulster v Stade Français Paris 1.35pm
Round 3 Saturday 12 Llanelli Scarlets v Leinster 6.00pm
Round 4 Saturday 19 Leinster v Llanelli Scarlets 3.35pm
Round 4 Saturday 19 Stade Français Paris v Ulster* 4.45pm
Round 4 Sunday 20 USA Perpignan v Munster 4.00pm
* denotes interactive match choice via the red button