TV3 secure majority of Champions League coverage for next three seasons

RTÉ, TV3 and Virgin Media have secured the rights to Champions League matches for the next three years.

Under the new deal, RTÉ will broadcast Tuesday night's Champions League games while TV3 will screen the games from Wednesday night.

It means a swap-around for the free-to-air stations from the current situation where TV3 had Tuesday night's games and RTÉ showed the games on Wednesday.

While Virgin Media and TV3 have exclusive rights to Wednesday night's games, they will also share 16 of the Tuesday night matches with RTÉ.

Also, Virgin Media and TV3 will have the rights to the Europa League games on Thursday nights.

In total, Virgin Media and TV3 will have exclusive rights in Ireland to 327 matches across the Champions League and Europa League competitions per season, as well as the finals of both competitions.

Ryle Nugent, RTÉ Group Head of Sport said: "This is a truly positive result for RTÉ, the Irish audience and public service broadcasting.

"The sports rights market continues to evolve and RTÉ is now competing against major international companies both here and in the UK, both free and subscription, for the right to broadcast premium sports events in this country.

"To secure the UEFA Champions League first choice games on Tuesday nights for the next three seasons means that Irish audiences will continue to have free to air access to the world’s leading club competition.

"This success, in conjunction with the rights to broadcast our national team’s UEFA European and World Cup qualifiers for 2020 & 2022, guarantees top class football on RTÉ platforms for the seasons ahead."

Pat Kiely, Managing Director of TV3 said: "The UEFA Champions League is the biggest and most prestigious club competition in the world and we are delighted to extend our partnership with UEFA for both the Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.

"This landmark deal confirms Virgin Media as Ireland's leading connected entertainment business and is great news for TV3 viewers and Virgin Media Customers.

"Our award winning Sports Broadcasting team look forward to bringing the biggest clubs and the best players to our viewers and customers in new and exciting ways over the coming European football seasons ."

- Digital Desk

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