Sky Sports has lost the Champions Cup rights
Welcome news for rugby fans as Champions Cup decides on single broadcaster.
The days of Alex Payne [Sky Sports] and Craig Doyle [BT Sport] co-hosting Champions Cup launch events will soon be over.
The European Professional Club Rugby, this morning, announced that BT Sport will be the sole pay-TV broadcaster from the 2018/19 season. BT have secured the rights, for the UK and Ireland, on a four-year deal, which also includes the Challenge Cup.
Sky and BT had shared the pay-TV rights for the past few years but many rugby supporters were not happy at having to pay two subscriptions to follow Europe's elite rugby competition.
EPCR has also reserved the rights for free-to-air coverage in the UK and Ireland, allowing them 'to meet its key objective of taking its matches to a larger audience and will take those rights to market at a later date.'
The decision comes after a revenue boost was announced when free-to-air coverage was trialled in France.
One season remains on the existing deal with both BT Sport and Sky Sports sharing the rights to broadcast the competitions. It is not clear in the statement whether Sky, or another broadcaster, bid for the pay-TV rights in UK and Ireland.
For those of you that missed the 2017/18 pool draws, last month, it was a pretty tasty one:
— Investec Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) June 8, 2017