News broke yesterday of the impending return of Champions Cup rugby to terrestrial Irish TV screens. TV3 have today released information about the extent of their coverage - and it sounds promising.
Having already leveraged the coverage of the Six Nations for Irish viewers, TV3 will now have access to one live Champions Cup match per week of the tournament from the beginning of next season.
A four-year arrangement, the broadcaster will have annual access to six group stage matches, followed by one quarter-final, one semi-final and the Champions Cup final itself.
This will also be in addition to a weekly highlights show featuring the progress of the Irish sides in the tournament.
Deprived of Champions Cup rugby on terrestrial TV for the last 12 years, TV3’s Managing Director Pat Kiely had the following to say:
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 club and country on TV3.
An exciting prospect that will bring elite European club rugby back to Irish screens, European Professional Club Rugby's Chief Executive Vincent Gaillard spoke of his happiness at the deal:
Irish passion for rugby is part of the fabric of the Champions Cup and we are delighted to take the competition into the homes of even more fans through this deal with TV3.
Not only will we be increasing our coverage in Ireland but we will do so with a broadcaster boasting extensive experience and knowledge of the sport.