BT and Sky have reached an agreement in principle concerning arrangements for the European Rugby Champions Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup competitions, both of which would be broadcast jointly by BT Sport and Sky Sports.
The pool matches would be shared equally, both will show two quarter-finals each, one semi-final each and the final would be broadcast by both live. The four-year agreement is subject to contract.
Simon Green, Director of BT Sport, said: “It is fantastic news for rugby fans that we have reached a deal with Sky Sports. The game of rugby had to come first and both companies have recognised that by showing a high degree of maturity and flexibility.
“We are delighted with the deal that has been struck and are hugely excited about bringing live action from both tournaments to our TV customers.”
Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said: “This is a good day for rugby. The agreement offers clarity for European rugby and enables the clubs to plan for the future.
“With these new competitions, we’re delighted our viewers can look forward to even more top class European coverage across our platforms.”
BT Sport/Sky Sports Coverage (Subject to Contract):
– 70 European Rugby Champions Cup matches would be shown live each season, 35 by each broadcaster
– Ten live matches would be shown in each round of the pool phase, five each by BT Sport and Sky Sports
– Both broadcasters would show live matches featuring English clubs each round
– For the European Rugby Champions Cup, BT Sport would have first picks and additional matches involving teams from the English Premiership, while Sky Sports would have first picks and additional matches featuring teams from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France and Italy
– The reverse would be the case for the European Rugby Challenge Cup
– For the European Rugby Challenge Cup, BT Sport and Sky Sports would broadcast at least one match between them per weekend
– Live coverage from the knockout stages would be shared evenly, two quarter-finals and one semi-inal each
– The final would be shown live by both broadcasters
– Both broadcasters would share coverage of the play-offs for the final place in the European Rugby Champions Cup
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