Champions Cup rugby is coming back to terrestrial TV in Ireland next season.
The Telegraph's Gavin Mairs reports that the EPCR is close to agreeing a deal which will see TV3 broadcast Champions Cup games in Ireland and Channel 4 in the UK. It's said that an announcement should be made next month.
The deal will see at least one game shown on TV3 throughout each of the six pool stage rounds of the tournament. There is also a possibility that some knock-out stage games could be free to air.
BT Sport agreed a deal last year to screen Champions Cup games between the 2018/19 season and 2021/22. The new deal ended the splitting of games between BT and Sky Sports.
The EPCR announced at the time that it had also reserved the rights to free-to-air coverage in Ireland and the UK with a view of taking the tournament to the larger audience available beyond subscription TV. BT are said to be happy to allow the broadcast of games on free-to-air in hope that it will boost the profile of the tournament.
The last live European Cup game shown on free-to-air TV in Ireland was the 2006 final between Munster and Biarritz.
If confirmed, it would be another major boost to TV3's rugby coverage. The broadcaster already has the rights to the Six Nations between this season and 2021.
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