7 Jun, 15:39
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
Sky Digital viewers will be given the option of which game to watch simply by pressing the red button on their remote control to activate the interactive service. This means:
More matches than ever before: 36 matches from the Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup have been scheduled within the first four rounds before Christmas.
Wider choice of games: Two live games will be simulcast each Friday of the tournament, meaning digital customers can press the red button on their remote control and use the interactive service to choose which game they want to watch.
More depth of coverage: Sky Sports will broadcast up to two live matches each round from the European Challenge Cup, along with highlights from each game on European Rugby Special every Sunday of the tournament.
Newport Gwent Dragons fans will be the first to be able to take advantage of this change, with their match in Perpignan broadcast LIVE via the interactive service, at the same time as Ulster take on Gloucester at Ravenhill.
Martin Turner, Executive Producer of Rugby Union at Sky Sports said: "By increasing the number of live matches, screening every British and Irish club side live at least once before Christmas, and offering a range of choice of live matches behind the red button, we feel confident that every rugby fan can submerge themselves in European rugby, live on Sky Sports."
Simon Lazenby will host the Heineken Cup matches with studio analysts including Dewi Morris, Will Greenwood, Michael Lynagh, Ieuan Evans, Paul Wallace, Reggie Corrigan, Kenny Logan and Scott Quinnell. Stuart Barnes and Miles Harrison are behind the mics for many of the big games and Graham Simmons will be pitchside for interviews with players and coaches.
Highlights, analysis and a comprehensive round-up of the weekend's matches will be shown on European Rugby Special, a weekly programme broadcast every Sunday of the tournament.
Live broadcasts are supported by a weekly magazine show, The Rugby Club, now in its 11th year. Dewi Morris, Stuart Barnes and Will Greenwood are regulars in the studio, and the programme features in-depth previews, analysis and reaction throughout the season.
For broadcast details, click here , or here for the full fixture list.