Home » Champions Cup chiefs offer update on TV future with no new broadcast deal agreed

Champions Cup chiefs offer update on TV future with no new broadcast deal agreed

The organisers of the Champions Cup have played down fears over the competitions’ television futures, insisting that negotiations are ongoing and in a “positive place”.

No broadcast deal in the United Kingdom has yet been announced for next season’s competition, with the existing deal with TNT Sports coming to an end after this weekend’s final between Leinster and Toulouse.

A challenging TV rights landscape has left many rugby entities struggling to attract significant deals, with the Premiership’s renewal with TNT not thought to be an uplift on the previous agreement with the broadcaster, who will show every game in the English top flight from the start of next season.

But European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) chiefs insist that they will get “what we deserve” after reporting record attendances and strong viewing figures across the Champions Cup campaign.

“We haven’t announced anything, but I can assure you we are discussing with several parties,” Jacques Raynaud, EPCR chief executive, said ahead of finals weekend at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. “Anything beyond that is commercially sensitive at this point.

Leinster take on Toulouse in the Champions Cup final
Leinster take on Toulouse in the Champions Cup final (Getty Images)

“I’m not worried, and the competition should not be worried. It is a normal process to try to maximise exposure and the return to club rugby. We want to make sure we get what we deserve and that it reflects the improved format, audience numbers and increased in-stadium numbers, so that it just follows the positive momentum of EPCR.”

After sharing the rights to the competition with long-time partners Sky Sports for several seasons, TNT (formerly BT Sport) became the primary broadcaster of the Champions Cup in 2018. ITV currently show a number of fixtures as a terrestial broadcast partner.

Sky’s withdrawal from club rugby has left TNT as the leading player in the market, with the Warner Bros Discovery subsidiary recently snapping up the November internationals to expand their portfolio in the sport.

TNT Sports are thought to have made an offer to renew their Champions Cup rights
TNT Sports are thought to have made an offer to renew their Champions Cup rights (Getty Images)

It is thought that they have made an offer for the Champions Cup, though no deal has yet been agreed.

“We have got one of the greatest competitions in the world for all of rugby, and we have the greatest competition in the world for club rugby,” EPCR chair, Dominic McKay, stressed. “We’ve got brilliant broadcast partners at the moment across multiple territories.

“It’s natural that you enter into a period of negotiation with your broadcast partners to secure the deals and partnerships you want. We are in the midst of that right now. Obviously we can’t go into detail, but we are in a positive place.”

Gloucester take on the Sharks in the Challenge Cup final on Friday night before Leinster and Toulouse vie for Champions Cup triumph on Saturday afternoon at the home of Spurs.