Live Champions Cup rugby is to return to free-to-air television in the UK with the announcement Europe’s elite club tournament will be shown on Channel 4 until the end of the 2021/22 season.
Tournament organisers EPCR have announced that from next season, Channel 4 have secured the rights to screen one live match per round during the Champions Cup pool stage, as well as one live match from each of the knockout rounds over the next four years.
TV3 have secured a similar rights agreement for free-to-air coverage in the Republic of Ireland and the Champions Cup will extend its reach across the USA following the announcement that NBC Sports will broadcast every Champions Cup match starting from next season.
BT Sport have already been confirmed as the official broadcast partner in the UK and Ireland, also until the end of the 2021/22 season, while in France, beIN SPORTS and France Télévisions have extended their agreements with a likely future announcement of additional free-to-air coverage in that territory.
EPCR marketing and commercial director, Carsten Couchouron, said: “To have live Champions Cup rugby on Channel 4 will take our outstanding rugby experiences to more fans so we are delighted to increase our coverage through this partnership.
“Channel 4 has an exciting sports portfolio and we are delighted to add to that as part of our enhanced broadcast platforms in the United Kingdom.”
Stephen Lyle, Channel 4 Sports commissioning editor, said: “We’re thrilled to be bringing top-class rugby to Channel 4.
“The Champions Cup is one of the most prestigious rugby union tournaments featuring many of the best players in the world and I’m sure viewers will be delighted to see it returning to free-to-air television.”