BT Sports secures all live elite European rugby rights
BT Sport is to become the home of the European Rugby Champions Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup in the UK and Ireland, having secured the rights to broadcast all of the tournaments’ matches live.
The new deal, starting from the 2018/19 season, will see BT Sport showing all of the best European Club Rugby matches until at least 2021/22. With some of the best players in the world such as Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Dan Carter, Johnny Sexton, Sam Warburton and Stuart Hogg all competing, up to 134 matches over nine weekends will be broadcast in both competitions and will be shown live on BT Sport.
At least 22 clubs from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland compete in both tournaments per season with their matches televised on BT Sport. Since launching in 2013, BT Sport has broadcast live Aviva Premiership Rugby and is currently broadcasting up to 69 matches per season in top flight English rugby and extended highlights rights for all 135 matches in the competition. Since 2014, BT Sport has also shown at least 37 games in both European elite competitions per season with English club Saracens winning it for the past two years.
BT Sport’s highly successful show BT Sport Rugby Tonight will also continue to complement the live Aviva Premiership Rugby, European Rugby Champions Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup, recapping on all the action.
Andy Haworth, BT’s managing director of content and strategy, said: “BT Sport is now the home of elite European rugby, as well as the home of Aviva Premiership Rugby. We’re proud to have won all of the live rights for this fantastic competition. We’re extremely passionate about our rugby coverage and will continue to work hard to grow the profile of the sport.”
Vincent Gaillard, CEO EPCR, said: “We are delighted to move to a single pay-TV platform for European club rugby with a premium broadcaster in BT Sport, who share our commitment to the promotion of our competitions. We look forward to further developing that relationship to continually create outstanding rugby experiences for fans across the United Kingdom and Ireland.”