Home News TV3 Strengthens its Grip on the Sports Market with UEFA Deal

TV3 Strengthens its Grip on the Sports Market with UEFA Deal

During the UEFA Champions League quarter final leg two match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on April 10, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

TV3 has strengthened its grip on the live sports market in Ireland by securing a major broadcast deal with UEFA which will give it exclusive Irish rights to all Wednesday UEFA Champions League matches, all Thursday UEFA Europa League matches and the Finals of both competitions.

In total, Virgin Media and TV3 will have Irish exclusive rights to 327 matches across both competitions per season and will share rights for 16 Tuesday night UEFA Champion League matches. The deal, which comes into effect in August this year, also includes exclusive rights to all UEFA Champions League final round qualifiers, the Super Cup and all highlights rights  to both UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League for the next three years.

According to Pat Kiely, Managing Director of TV3: “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.”

The deal follows on from the station’s recent announcement that it is has bagged a deal with European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) to broadcast live Champions Cup rugby on a free-to-air basis. This is the first time since 2006 that Champions Cup rugby, including the former Heineken Cup, has been broadcast on a free-to-air basis.

The deal means that TV3 will broadcast one live Champions Cup match per week of the tournament from the beginning of next season (October 2018) until the Final in May 2022.  The agreement includes six group stage matches followed by one Quarter-Final, one Semi-Final and the Champions Cup Final. In addition, a weekly highlights show featuring the Irish sides participating in the Champions Cup will also be broadcast every weekend of the tournament. The deal comes into effect in September. TV3 made its successful debut as the new home of Six Nations rugby earlier this year  in what has been a remarkable year for Irish rugby.

Meanwhile, the station is to broadcast the 2018 Zurich Irish Rugby Players Awards tonight at 10pm. Hosted by Joe Molloy, the 16th annual Zurich Irish Rugby Players Awards are Ireland’s only national awards that celebrate player’s success both on and off the field.

According to Rob Kearney, Irish international and chairman of Rugby Players Ireland: “We are delighted that the Zurich Irish Rugby Players Awards will this year be broadcast on TV3. It will be an evening of great celebration for what has been a brilliant year for Irish rugby on the field. TV3 were behind us throughout our Grand Slam journey and it is great to see them now getting behind the wider game.”