Tournament organisers ERC and their broadcast partners today (Tuesday, 19 July) announced the dates, kick-off times and the televised matches for the first three rounds of the 11th Heineken Cup tournament.
The Sky Sports cameras will be at four of the venues, including the opening match of the tournament when Sale Sharks host Munster at Edgeley Park on the Friday night. (19.30 kick-off)
Sky Sports will broadcast Cardiff Blues against Leeds Tykes and the Ospreys' clash with Stade Français Paris on the Saturday and complete the first weekend at Murrayfield when Edinburgh Gunners take on 2004 Heineken Cup winners London Wasps at Sunday lunchtime.
A record nine of the 12 Round 1 matches will be televised live with RTE showing Leinster against Bath Rugby; Sport+ the contests between Castres Olympique and Newport Gwent Dragons as well as Bourgoin against Glasgow Warriors and Sky Italia Rugby Calvisano's showdown with Perpignan.
And eight matches will be televised live in Round 2 the following weekend and nine of the Round 3 contests on the weekend of 9 / 10 / 11 December.
All 24 clubs participating in the Heineken Cup will have featured in live television games by Round 3.
In a new addition to the tournaments' broadcast platform, S4C in Wales will broadcast comprehensive highlights of matches on Saturday, Sunday and Monday evenings involving the four Welsh teams and of a selection of other matches in each round.
"This is unprecedented television coverage for the tournament - our broadcast partners will bring more and more of the colour, passion and excitement from across Europe's premier club rugby tournament to the developing fan base. The previous highest number of matches on a Pool weekend was eight - and this clearly demonstrates the enhanced stature and high esteem in which the Heineken Cup is held," said ERC Chief Executive Derek McGrath.
"More than twelve hours of live television action over a weekend represents fantastic exposure for all our stakeholders - the member Unions and participating clubs, our partners and rugby supporters across Europe."
POOL 1: Munster, Castres Olympique, Sale Sharks, Newport Gwent Dragons
POOL 2: Rugby Calvisano, Perpignan, Leeds Tykes, Cardiff Blues
POOL 3: Ospreys, Stade Français Paris, Leicester Tigers, ASM Clermont Auvergne
POOL 4: Biarritz Olympique, Saracens, Ulster, Benetton Treviso
POOL 5: Glasgow Warriors, Bourgoin, Bath Rugby, Leinster
POOL 6: London Wasps, Toulouse, Llanelli Scarlets, Edinburgh Gunners
THE FIXTURES (All kick-offs LOCAL times)
Friday 21 October, 2005
Pool 1 Sale Sharks v Munster 19.30 Sky Sports
Pool 4 Ulster v Benetton Treviso 19.30
Pool 5 Bourgoin v Glasgow Warriors 20.30 Sport+ / Sky Sports*
Saturday 22 October, 2005
Pool 1 Castres Olympique v Newport Gwent Dragons 18.15 Sport+ / S4C **
Pool 2 Cardiff Blues v Leeds Tykes 13.00 Sky Sports / S4C **
Rugby Calvisano v Perpignan 14.00 Sky Italia / Sport+
Pool 3 Leicester Tigers v ASM Clermont Auvergne 15.00
Pool 5 Leinster v Bath Rugby 17.15 RTE / Sky Sports
Pool 6 Toulouse v Llanelli Scarlets 16.00 FR2 / Sky Sports / S4C **
Sunday 23 October, 2005
Pool 3 Ospreys v Stade Français Paris 15.00 Sky Sports / Sport+ / S4C **
Pool 4 Saracens v Biarritz Olympique 15.00 S4C **
Pool 6 Edinburgh Gunners v London Wasps 13.00 Sky Sports
Friday 28 October, 2005
Pool 1 Newport Gwent Dragons v Sale Sharks 19.30 Sky Sports / S4C **
Pool 2 Leeds Tykes v Rugby Calvisano 20.00
Perpignan v Cardiff Blues 20.30 Sport+ / Sky Sports*
Saturday 29 October, 2005
Pool 1 Munster v Castres Olympique 17.15 RTE/Sport+/Sky Sports
Pool 3 Stade Français Paris v Leicester Tigers 14.00 Sport+
Pool 4 Benetton Treviso v Saracens 14.00 Sky Italia
Biarritz Olympique v Ulster 16.00 FR2 / Sky Sports
Pool 5 Bath Rugby v Bourgoin 14.15
Pool 6 Llanelli Scarlets v Edinburgh Gunners 15.00 S4C **
Sunday 30 October, 2005
Pool 3 ASM Clermont Auvergne v Ospreys 16.00 S4C **
Pool 5 Glasgow Warriors v Leinster 13.00 Sky Sports
Pool 6 London Wasps v Toulouse 15.00 Sky Sports / Sport+
Friday 9 December, 2005
Pool 1 Castres Olympique v Sale Sharks 20.30 Sport+ / Sky Sports*
Pool 4 Ulster v Saracens 19.30 Sky Sports
Saturday 10 December, 2005
Pool 1 Newport Gwent Dragons v Munster 13.00 Sky Sports
Pool 2 Rugby Calvisano v Cardiff Blues 14.00 Sky Italia
Pool 3 ASM Clermont Auvergne v Stade Français Paris 16.00 FR2 / Sky Sports
Pool 5 Leinster v Bourgoin 17.15 RTE / Sport+ / Sky Sports
Pool 6 Edinburgh Gunners v Toulouse 16.00
Sunday 11 December, 2005
Pool 2 Leeds Tykes v Perpignan 14.30
Pool 3 Leicester Tigers v Ospreys 15.00 Sky Sports
Pool 4 Biarritz Olympique v Benetton Treviso 16.00 Sport+
Pool 5 Bath Rugby v Glasgow Warriors 14.15
Pool 6 Llanelli Scarlets v London Wasps 13.00 Sky Sports
* Delayed transmission