TV3 swoops to break RTÉ grip on Uefa club rights in Ireland

European football’s governing body Uefa has today (Tuesday) signed rights deals in Ireland for its Champions League and Europa League club competitions with commercial broadcaster TV3 and public-service broadcaster RTÉ.

The deals are for three seasons, from 2018-19 to 2020-21, and see commercial broadcaster TV3 become the main force in Irish coverage of European football.

TV3 have won exclusive rights to all Wednesday Champions League matches, all Thursday Europa League matches and the finals of both competitions.

In total, TV3 will have Irish exclusive rights to 327 matches across both competitions per season and will share rights for 16 Tuesday night Champions League matches with RTÉ.

TV3’s deal also includes exclusive rights to all Champions League final round qualifiers, the Super Cup and all highlights rights to both the Champions League and Europa League for the next three seasons.

Both TV3 and RTÉ are existing partners of the competitions, with the latter having previously broadcast Wednesday night matches from the Champions League.

Commenting on the deal, Ryle Nugent, RTÉ Group head of sport, said: “The sports rights market continues to evolve and RTÉ is now competing against major international companies both here and in the UK, both free and subscription, for the right to broadcast premium sports events in this country. 

“To secure the Uefa Champions League first choice games on Tuesday nights for the next three seasons means that Irish audiences will continue to have free to air access to the world’s leading club competition.

“This success, in conjunction with the rights to broadcast our national team’s Uefa European and World Cup qualifiers for 2020 and 2022, guarantees top class football on RTÉ platforms for the seasons ahead.”