SKY SPORTS has agreed a new four-year deal with the ERC for exclusive live coverage of European Rugby competitions.
The new deal for the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup continues a series of major rights renewals for Sky Sports over the last 18 months.
The extended contract starts in the autumn of 2014, after the current deal, and will extend the long-standing relationship with the ERC to the end of the 2017-2018 season, a 15th year.
Under the new ERC deal Sky Sports will continue to hold exclusive live rights to exclusive live matches from each of the first four rounds of the Heineken Cup, plus all knock out stages and finals for a further four seasons, across the UK and Ireland.
There will also be exclusive live coverage of matches in the opening rounds, knockout stages, both Semi-Finals and the Final of the Amlin Challenge Cup across the UK and Ireland.
Announcing the extended deal, Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said: “This new deal with the ERC gives us live European Rugby for another four seasons.”
He continued: “We have been pleased to be partners with the ERC for over a decade and see their tournaments grow. This is Rugby of the highest quality and these competitions give our viewers over 60 live games across eight months.
“The Heineken Cup and Amlin Cup will continue to line up with our exclusive live coverage of the British & Irish Lions, England’s autumn internationals and the best Rugby from the southern hemisphere.”
ERC Chief Executive Derek McGrath said, “Over the past ten years Sky Sports has made a major contribution to the development of European club rugby and ERC is delighted to be able to extend our partnership for a further four seasons until 2018. Sky Sports innovative coverage and commitment has greatly enhanced the game in Europe and we look forward to working together over the next six seasons as the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup reaches new heights.”
Since the 2003/2004 season when Sky Sports’ first long term agreement with the ERC began, Irish teams have won the Heineken Cup more times than any other participating nation.*
This season Sky Sports offers live Rugby throughout the calendar with; the Heineken Cup, Amlin Challenge Cup, the British & Irish Lions tour, England’s QBE Autumn Internationals, Southern Hemisphere rugby and the Aviva Premiership. Coverage is available live on Sky Sports HD channels across TV, PC, mobile and tablet devices.
The new deal with the ERC is one of twelve recent renewals for Sky Sports within the last 18 months including long-term deals with the English Premier League and Formula 1.