European Champions Cup Expected To Have Commercial, Broadcast Deals Done By Sept.
The architects of the new European Champions Cup rugby tournament "expect to have all commercial and broadcasting deals nailed down by September at the latest," according to Chris Hewett of the London INDEPENDENT. Only then will those "mourning the passing of the Heineken Cup understand why the upheaval had to happen.'' Premier Rugby CEO Mark McCafferty said, "Of course we are aware that lots of people don't agree with what we did and the way we did it. The only thing I can say is: let's wait until next season; let's see what it looks like and make a judgement then." Along with Rugby Football Union CEO Ian Ritchie, who "performed the role of honest broker and has been widely acclaimed for his success in persuading rival broadcasters to share rights to the new competition," McCafferty "played a difficult hand with considerable expertise and has emerged with reputation enhanced" (INDEPENDENT, 4/15).