14
August
2014
|
18:14
Europe/Amsterdam

BT Sport announces exclusively live European rugby matches

Summary

BT Sport today announced a stunning line up of exclusively live matches it will show from the new European Rugby Champions Cup, the successor to the Heineken Cup, as well as the new European Rugby Challenge Cup.

 

Broadcaster’s coverage to commence with heavy-weight round one featuring Saracens vs Clermont, Leinster vs Wasps and Leicester v Ulster

BT Sport today announced a stunning line up of exclusively live matches it will show from the new European Rugby Champions Cup, the successor to the Heineken Cup, as well as the new European Rugby Challenge Cup.

In the European Rugby Champions Cup, BT Sport will show at least five matches exclusively live from each of the opening rounds of the tournament, plus two quarter-finals and a semi-final. The Final, which will be shown live on BT Sport, will be shared with Sky Sports.

BT has first picks and additional matches involving clubs from the Aviva Premiership in the Champions Cup and it is using those picks to show Saracens, Leicester, Wasps, Harlequins and Bath in the opening weekend.

BT today unveiled the matches it will show from the first two rounds of the tournament. It will launch its coverage with a high quality Round One line-up (which spans October 16 to 19), featuring a replay of last year’s memorable semi-final between Saracens and Clermont Auvergne, which the London club won 46-6.

Other exclusively live matches from the opening weekend include Leicester taking on Ulster at Welford Road, a match in which the home side will hope to gain revenge, after the Irish club ended their 25 match unbeaten home run in the Heineken Cup last January.

There will be another Anglo-Irish match on BT Sport when Wasps return to the top tier of European rugby with a visit to Leinster. BT Sport’s most recent addition, former Ireland and Leinster centre Brian O’Driscoll, who will be working as a rugby expert for the TV channel’s coverage all season, will line-up alongside fellow pundit and former England and Wasps forward, Lawrence Dallaglio to present the match. BT Sport will also show Bath’s visit to Glasgow Warriors, whilst the fifth match to be shown will be Harlequins vs Castres.

The second round of the tournament – which spans October 23 to 26 - will see BT Sport show another five matches exclusively live. These include the London derby, Wasps vs Harlequins, as well as a difficult away trip for Saracens to Munster. Leicester will also feature when they visit the Scarlets whilst Bath will be at home to Toulouse. Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 will be the fifth live match shown on BT Sport that weekend.

In the Challenge Cup, BT Sport 2 will broadcast London Welsh v Bordeaux in Round Two, which kicks off at 7.45pm on Thursday October 23.

Grant Best, senior executive channel producer, BT Sport, said: “As well as being the home of the world leading Aviva Premiership, we’re delighted to be adding coverage of Europe’s premier rugby competition to our line-up. We are passionate about rugby at BT Sport and look forward to growing the profile of European rugby. Last season, in our inaugural season of Aviva Premiership Rugby, TV audiences rose by 40 per cent.”

BT Sport’s European rugby match coverage will be anchored live from the grounds around Europe for key matches, with further games broadcast live from the BT Sport studio in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. Coverage will run throughout the weekend with BT Sport’s news and information show, SPORTSHUB, providing reaction and updates from the rest of the tournament in-between the live matches. Coverage will be hosted by Craig Doyle, while commentary will be provided by Nick Mullins and Alastair Eykyn, who will be joined by BT Sport rugby experts, Lawrence Dallaglio, Ben Kay, Matt Dawson and Austin Healey. Reporting duties fall to Sarra Elgan and Martin Bayfield.

After a highly successful first year, BT Sport’s Rugby Tonight moves to a new slot of Monday nights for the new season and will recap on all the action in the new European tournaments. It will continue to be hosted by Martin Bayfield, Matt Dawson, Craig Doyle plus Sarra Elgan and will offer a mixture of rugby analysis, debate and lively entertainment around the tournaments, as well as the wider world of rugby.

BT SPORT EXCLUSIVELY LIVE MATCHES – Round 1 – Champions Cup

Harlequins v Castres Friday October 17 BT Sport 2, 7.45pm ko
Saracens v Clermont Saturday October 18 BT Sport 1, 3.15pm ko
Glasgow v Bath Saturday October 18 BT Sport 2, 3.15pm ko
Leicester v Ulster Saturday October 18 BT Sport 2, 7.45pm ko
Leinster v Wasps Sunday October 19 BT Sport 2, 5.15pm ko

BT SPORT EXCLUSIVELY LIVE MATCHES – Round 2 – Champions Cup

Munster v Saracens Friday October 24 BT Sport 2, 7.45pm ko
Bath v Toulouse Saturday October 25 BT Sport 1, 3.15pm ko
Scarlets v Leicester Saturday October 25 BT Sport 2, 7.45pm ko
Wasps v Harlequins Sunday October 26 BT Sport 2, 5.15pm ko
Treviso v Racing Sunday October 26 (details tbc), 5.15pm ko