European Rugby Clubs Nearing Agreement On Successor To Heineken Cup
Nearly "two years of wrangling and negotiation will come to an end this week with the announcement of the successor to the Heineken Cup, an elite competition which is likely to be called the European Rugby Champions Cup," according to Steve James of the London TELEGRAPH. It had "been hoped that final agreement would have been made at the end of last week, but the finer details, especially the division of revenue among the RaboDirect Pro12 teams, have taken longer than expected." Crucially, agreement between the "rival broadcasters, Sky and BT, appears to have been reached on the key issue of screening games involving English clubs, where more viewers are guaranteed." On Wednesday, a meeting will be held in Dublin of the shareholders of European Rugby Cup Limited, and on Thursday a board meeting. With the TV deal "hopefully completed by then, it is likely that ERC will release money owed to clubs for participating in this year's competition." ERC had been "withholding the money for fear of litigation from Sky" (TELEGRAPH, 3/24).