Monday 22 January 2018

Apres Match set to return as RTE agrees to sell some Euro 2016 matches to TV3

Funny side: Apres Match's Risteard Cooper (centre) as anchor Bill
Funny side: Apres Match's Risteard Cooper (centre) as anchor Bill

Ryan Nugent

Apres Match looks set to return to our screens for Euro 2016 - once RTE confirms a deal to sell a portion of its tournament rights to rivals TV3.

Last month, comedian Gary Cooke admitted he wasn't sure if the show would be recommissioned by the national broadcaster for the tournament.

It's understood the delay in confirming any deal with the popular post-match sketch show has been held up by the broadcasting rights deal with TV3, in which RTE will retain sole rights to the Irish international team's three group games.

The national broadcaster will still televise 44 of the tournament's matches, with TV3 obtaining the remaining 22, while RTE will have first preference over the knock-out matches.

Nothing has been signed in the deal between the two broadcasters, with RTE believed to be waiting on confirmation from football governing body UEFA to give the go-ahead. Sources said that the broadcaster is "very hopeful" a deal can be completed shortly.

UEFA are said to be very strict about agreements on television rights. RTE would not comment on the sale.

The national broadcaster secured the rights for the tournament in June 2015, but made it known that they were planning on selling some of the matches when they put a portion up for tender before Christmas, inviting other broadcasters to express an interest.

With RTE covering the General Election, the 1916 commemorations, the upcoming Olympics in Brazil and the European Championships, resources is one of the reasons RTE have decided to pass on some of their rights.

The tournament is set to be the biggest ever, and sources said that it would be "almost physically impossible" for the broadcaster to show every game and also cover the GAA championship, along with the rest of their programming, at the same time.

Ireland won't be the only nation splitting TV rights for the tournament, with the BBC and ITV sharing them in the UK, and broadcasters in France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway doing similar deals.

The tournament is set to begin in Paris on June 10, with France taking on Romania.


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