After many years of straightforward Champions League coverage — Tuesday for TV3; Wednesday for RTÉ — all changes rather utterly for Irish viewers from tonight.
The major departure is that the Virgin takeover of TV3 has meant the loss of free-to-air coverage for the Wednesday games. There is also a tweak to the kick-off times. Here’s how it works:
Viewers have a bonus of at least two free live matches on offer. RTÉ2 now gets the pick of the Tuesday games. Virgin Media One (formerly TV3) picks up one of the others. The remaining games will be carried on Virgin Media Sport.
No live coverage on RTÉ or Virgin One. Instead, the live games will be carried on the Virgin Media Sport suite of channels. These are free for people who already get their TV services from Virgin (formerly UPC). Good news for Virgin subscribers, bad news for people who aren’t.
What if I don’t get my TV channels via Virgin?
If you don’t subscribe to any Virgin services, you can see its games via the Virgin Media TV Anywhere App for €20 per month (minimum contract of 30 days).
If you subscribe to one of Virgin’s other services, such as mobile or broadband, you can get the network’s live games for €10 a month (free for first two months; minimum contract of 30 days).
And those kick-off times?
The old 7.45pm start is gone. It has been replaced by an early kick-off of 5.55pm, and a later one of 8pm.