Rugby fans across the world will have the chance to enjoy stars of the global game in European club rugby’s blue riband tournament this weekend, after a host of broadcasters and streaming services signed up to screen this season’s Heineken Champions Cup.
Leinster Rugby’s triumph over Racing 92 in Bilbao back in May was shown in 115 countries and access to the tournament recognised as The One to Win is better than ever domestically from 2018/19, with Bath Rugby’s Pool 1 clash with Toulouse on Saturday launching free-to-air coverage in the United Kingdom (Channel 4) and Ireland (Virgin Media), in addition to the comprehensive coverage of BT Sport.
That match will also be the first screened live in the United States at the start of a four-year deal with NBC Sports, who will also show Glasgow Warriors’ opener against Saracens on Sunday. The majority of Heineken Champions Cup matches will also be available in the USA through NBC Sports Gold.
The new model in the UK and Ireland replicates that of coverage in France, where wide-ranging exposure to the live action through beIN SPORTS is supplemented by one live match per round through France Télévisions.
Where else can you watch Europe’s elite club competition?
- DAZN has signed an agreement to take the tournament to audiences in Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and Switzerland. All Heineken Champions Cup matches will be live in Canada, Japan and Italy, and DAZN Italy will also show Round 1 Challenge Cup action as Benetton Rugby host Grenoble in Pool 5 and Bristol Bears entertain Zebre Rugby Club, both on Saturday (13 October).
- RugbyPass will take the action to audiences in both Australia and South-East Asia for the next four seasons.
- After a very successful Finals weekend in Spain, Telefonica will launch their live coverage of the tournament when Leinster open their defence of the trophy against Wasps on Friday night (12 October).
- Spark will take the tournament to audiences in New Zealand until the end of the 2021/22 season. Until their sport platform launches at the start of 2019, their partners,TVNZ Duke, will show two matches per weekend on free-to-air television, starting with the season opener at Leinster and continuing with Scarlets’ home game against Racing 92 at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday (13 October).
- SuperSport remains the rights holder of the tournament in Sub-Saharan Africa. Fans are advised to check listings in their territory for confirmed coverage schedules.
Several negotiations in other territories are still ongoing with EPCR’s international rights agency, RDA, and will be communicated to fans through HeinekenChampionsCup.com once completed.
These are all the places you can watch this season’s Heineken Champions Cup:
BT Sport – United Kingdom and Ireland
Channel 4 – United Kingdon
Virgin Media – Ireland
beIN SPORTS – France
France Télévisions – France
NBC (including NBC Sports and NBC Sports Gold) – United States
DAZN – Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and Switzerland
GO – Malta
RugbyPass – Australia and South-East Asia
Rugby TV – Georgia
Spark (TVNZ Duke) – New Zealand
SportsMax – Caribbean
Sport TV – Portugal
SuperSport – Sub-Saharan Africa
Telefonica – Spain
TV Arena Sport – Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia