TV3 takes majority of Uefa club rights in Ireland

TV3 takes majority of Uefa club rights in Ireland
Uefa, the governing body for soccer in Europe, has agreed rights deals in Ireland for its Champions League and Europa League club competitions with commercial network TV3 and public service broadcaster RTÉ.

The deals will run from next season until the end of the 2020/21 campaign, and will see Virgin Media-operated TV3 take over from RTÉ as Irish television's principal home of both tournaments.

TV3’s package includes exclusive rights to all Wednesday Champions League matches, all Thursday Europa League games and the finals of both competitions. Meanwhile RTÉ, which previously covered the Wednesday fixtures, will now show Tuesday night Champions League games, and will share rights to 16 of those matches per season with TV3.

TV3 will have exclusive rights to a total of 327 matches across both the Champions League and Europa League each year. In addition, the broadcaster’s deal includes exclusivity for all Champions League final round qualifiers, the Uefa Super Cup, and all highlights rights to the Champions League and Europa League.   

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.”

“This is a truly positive result for RTÉ, the Irish audience and public service broadcasting,” added Ryle Nugent, RTÉ Group’s head of sport. “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.”

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