Sky Sports in talks over future of European rugby

Managing director stresses need for compromise if new television deal is to be agreed

 

Sky Sports chief Barney Francis has warned that compromise will be need on all sides if a deal can be agreed on television rights for European club rugby.

The satellite broadcaster and rivals BT Sport have been in deadlock after signing separate but incompatible deals to cover European rugby.

The stalemate needs to be resolved before a new competition to replace the Heineken Cup can be agreed.

Francis, Sky Sports managing director, told the Sport Pro Live conference: “Conversations are ongoing. We are absolutely willing to take part in conversations that lead to a successful solution that is in the best interests of the game and for the fans.

“The game has had a difficult time, but it will take compromise from all parties.”

The most likely solution would be one where both broadcasters show the matches, as they do with Premier League football.

Sky and BT Sport remain fierce rivals however, especially after Sky lost out in the bidding to show football’s Champions League games from 2015-2018.

Francis said on that issue: “We put a value on that and if you don’t get it you move on and do something else.”

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