The future of European rugby
TV deal crucial to European compromise
ESPN Staff
February 23, 2014
Progress has been made over the future of European rugby © Getty Images

The broadcasting side of European rugby is the last hurdle preventing compromise over the future of the Heineken Cup, according to the Observer.

The newspaper reports the format of a re-jigged Heineken Cup has reportedly been agreed with the Six Nations committee taking over the governance. But holding up the deal is the broadcasting side.

BT Sport and Sky Sports met last week to talk about potentially sharing the rights for next season's European rugby. When Premiership Rugby unveiled its bumper television deal with BT Sport ahead of the 2013-14 season, the deal included rights to the English club's home European matches. At present, Sky Sports hold sole rights to the European competition so a deal is still trying to be done to satisfy both parties.

The Observer claims that if no compromise can be found, then English clubs will try to push ahead with plans for an Anglo-Welsh league.

"The television issue should have been sorted out before anything else because it is a potential deal-breaker," an official told the newspaper. "Everything is in the balance."

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