SKY SPORTS will show all 24 teams and almost 24 hours of exclusively live European rugby union coverage in one weekend during the first round of the Heineken Cup.
Viewers can enjoy 45 live televised fixtures from the first four rounds of the 2013/2014 Heineken Cup beginning October 11th including all four Irish teams exclusively live for each round across Friday, Saturday and Sunday on SkySports.
Beginning on Friday evening, in one of the first live matches of the season, Ulster take on Premiership champions, Leicester Tigers. At the same time viewers will be able to watchConnacht face last year’s European semi-finalists Saracens.
On Saturday 12th October the six live matches include Munster against Edinburgh from 13.35 and, later in the afternoon from 18.00, RaboDirect PRO12 and Amlin Challenge Cup champions Leinster take on the Ospreys.
Gus Williamson, executive producer, Sky Sports rugby union said: “This summer has been fantastic for rugby fans and now the Lions have returned victorious, we can’t wait for the exciting new European season to start. The opening weekend is going to be immense with all twenty four teams shown live“.
Derek McGrath, ERC chief executive, added: “The Heineken Cup has once again thrown up an intriguing series of high-quality fixtures for the coming season, and the expertise of Sky Sports, along with our other broadcast partners, is a major factor in the promotion of the tournament both across Europe and to a wider global television audience.”
After a compelling summer of Lions action and Super Rugby, the new season promises yet more top class rugby on Sky Sports. Before the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup commence, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina compete in The Rugby Championship from August. There will also be live coverage as England face the southern hemisphere greats in the QBE Internationals live from Twickenham in November and of the IRB Sevens World Series throughout the season.
The punditry line up on Sky Sports boasts some of the biggest names in rugby with over 550 caps between them. Expert analysis is provided from Paul Wallace, Will Greenwood, Dewi Morris, Ieuan Evans, Scott Quinnell and Scott Hastings. Coverage is presented by Alex Payne and James Gemmell with commentary from Stuart Barnes, Miles Harrison, Mark Robson and Johnnie Hammond. Additional faces will also appear in the Sky Sports rugby union studio throughout the season.
Sky Sports subscribers can watch all of Sky’s Heineken Cup matches online through the Event Centre. Available from skysports.com, all Sky’s live matches are available simultaneously and all tries can be viewed as they happen with Try Alert. With Match Centre, any single moment from any game can be accessed and users can pause, replay and watch the action in slow-motion whilst keeping up to date with stats and information as the matches happen.
Viewers can also keep up-to-date live across mobile devices with Sky Go. 24/7 coverage is available on skysports.com, plus the breaking news, views and scores round the clock on Sky Sports News HD. Highlights, analysis and a comprehensive round-up of the weekend’s matches will also be shown on European Rugby Special every Sunday of the tournament, plus The Rugby Club, featuring in-depth previews, analysis and reaction throughout the season.