Live Champions Cup rugby will make its return to free-to-air television in Ireland following EPCR’s announcement that TV3 have secured additional broadcast rights for Europe’s elite club tournament until the end of the 2021/22 season.
TV3 have secured the rights to screen one live match per round during the Champions Cup pool stages over the next four seasons, as well as one live match from each of the knockout rounds in what is a key territory for European professional club rugby.
The Irish provinces have made a major contribution to the storied history of the European Cup with Leinster, Munster and Ulster winning six titles between them. Both Leinster and Munster have booked their places in this season’s Champions Cup quarter-finals over the Easter weekend against holders Saracens and Toulon respectively, while Connacht take on Gloucester in the last-eight of the Challenge Cup.
With a further free-to-air offering in the United Kingdom set to be announced shortly, EPCR’s enhanced broadcast coverage of its high-profile tournament is good news for fans. BT Sport have already been confirmed as the official broadcast partner in the UK and Ireland also until the end of the 2021/22 season.
Meanwhile, a significant boost in revenue has been generated from the French market where beIN Sports and France Télévisions continue as official broadcasters with a likely future announcement of additional free-to-air Champions Cup coverage in that territory.
EPCR Marketing and Commercial Director Carsten Couchouron said: “It’s a key EPCR objective to take the outstanding rugby experiences of European professional club rugby into the homes of even more fans and we are delighted to be increasing our coverage with TV3 in Ireland. TV3 have extensive experience of delivering quality rugby broadcasting and we are certain they will bring both knowledge and passion to the Champions Cup.”
TV3’s Managing Director Pat Kiely commented: “We are delighted to be bringing Champions Cup rugby to TV3. This deal reflects the great momentum we now have and, as part of Virgin Media, we continue to deliver more great content and live events for our viewers and customers. We are clearly in a golden era for Irish Rugby and Irish audiences can now look forward to even more action from province and country on TV3.”