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RTE gets Champions League for reduced fee

RTE HAS secured cut-price Champions League rights as part of its efforts to maintain sports coverage while simultaneously slashing costs.

The state broadcaster yesterday announced it had successfully retained Wednesday night coverage of football's elite European club competition for a further three years.

TV3 also retained its rights to Tuesday night games until 2015 while Setanta Sports has the rights to both nights.

RTE recently announced that its budget for sport was being cut by 25pc.

The broadcaster would not comment on the financial specifics of its deal with UEFA -- the governing body that issues Champions League rights -- but said it was happy to keep the competition on free-to-air television.

However, a well-placed source said the station managed to secure a "significant percentage reduction" on the cost.

"They (RTE Sport) got it for a significantly reduced amount and they wouldn't have been able to do it otherwise," the source said.

RTE also got exclusive rights to the Champions League final as well as the UEFA Super Cup -- amounting to 18 games.

As well as Tuesday night fixtures, TV3 will show Europa League matches on Thursdays.

Irish Independent