European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR)

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European Professional Club Rugby has agreed four media-rights deals in recent weeks which it hopes will increase the exposure of its competitions.

Rugby union experts expect the value of international media rights to Europe’s club competitions to decline in any new deal, with a tender covering a new cycle issued this week.

European Professional Club Rugby increased the value of its media rights in France by about 50 per cent late last month from deals with beIN Sports and France Télévisions.

Strong competition is expected between France’s main pay-television broadcasters for Uefa Champions League, Formula One and European rugby rights, with all three properties currently on the market.

France Télévisions last week agreed a deal covering the European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, taking European Professional Club Rugby to a strong rights fee from the French market.

Sports streaming service FloSports has acquired rights in the Middle East and North Africa to European club rugby union competitions the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup

New Zealand telco Spark has struck a four-season deal for rights to European rugby union’s Champions Cup, from 2018-19 to 2021-22.

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French pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports easily beat its main rival Canal Plus to land rights to European rugby’s new club tournaments, adding evidence to claims that the previously intense competition between the two broadcasters is cooling.

IMG Media’s acquisition of the international rights to European club rugby was due to be confirmed late this week. The deal was reported exclusively in the last issue of TV Sports Markets.

The IMG Media agency today (June 13, 2014) confirmed a deal to distribute global media rights to European club rugby's new elite tournaments, run by European Professional Club Rugby.

Read here TV Sports Markets' report from two weeks ago on how IMG won the bidding war with rival agencies to land the rights.

The structure of the two new European club rugby competitions, the Rugby Champions Cup and the Rugby Challenge Cup, beginning in the 2014-15 season

Clubs are real winners from BT-Sky sharing deal for European rugby

If there is a common thread running through our stories this issue it is change. It is a process that all sports go through, usually to secure increased media exposure and revenue, and occasionally due to power struggles about how that revenue is divided.