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This weekend's Heineken Champions Cup includes a free-to-air live match

By Paul Smith
2019 Heineken Champions Cup winners Saracens. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Heineken Champions Cup action returns this weekend with a leading clash available on free-to-air TV.

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Rugby authorities faced widespread criticism when the recent Autumn International Series was almost completely shown on subscription channel Amazon Prime.

Opponents pointed to reported participation issues faced by cricket in England since international action went almost entirely behind a paywall in 2005.

Video Spacer

Zach Mercer
Video Spacer
Zach Mercer

But while the majority of this weekend’s opening round ties will be covered by BT Sport in the UK and Ireland, and beIN SPORTS in France, both Channel Four and Virgin Media are committed to providing free-to-air coverage in the UK and Ireland while France Télévisions offers the same option for viewers across the channel.

After Northampton Saints host Paris-based Racing 92 in the competition’s opening salvo on Friday evening on BT Sport and beIN SPORTS terrestrial viewers get their first opportunity on Saturday afternoon.

And organisers have opted to give free-to-air fans the opportunity to see defending champions Toulouse in action at Cardiff in a contest which is also a repeat of the competition’s inaugural 1996 final when Christophe Deylaud won kicked a trophy-clinching penalty goal in the final seconds of extra-time.

Round One Schedule:

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Friday 10th

8pm Northampton Saints v Racing 92 – BT Sport/beIN SPORTS

Saturday 11th

1pm Cardiff v Toulouse – Channel Four/Virgin Media/BT Sports/beIN SPORTS

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1.15pm Leinster v Bath – BT Sports/beIN SPORTS

4.15pm Bordeaux v Leicester Tigers – beIN SPORTS/FR 2/BT Sports

5.30pm Bristol v Scarlets – BT Sports/beIN SPORTS

6.30pm Clermont v Ulster – BT Sports/beIN SPORTS

8.00pm Montpellier v Exeter Chiefs – BT Sports/beIN SPORTS

Sunday 12th

1.00pm Connacht v Stade Francais Paris – BT Sports/beIN SPORTS

1.00pm Ospreys v Sale Sharks – BT Sports/beIN SPORTS

3.15pm Wasps v Munster – BT Sports/beIN SPORTS

4.15pm La Rochelle v Glasgow Warriors – FR2/BT Sports/beIN SPORTS

6.30pm Castres v Harlequins – BT Sports/beIN SPORTS

2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup

Round 1 – 10/11/12 December 2021
Round 2 – 17/18/19 December 2021
Round 3 – 14/15/16 January 2022
Round 4 – 21/22/23 January 2022
Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 (1st leg) – 8/9/10 April 2022
Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 (2nd leg) – 15/16/17 April 2022
Quarter-finals – 6/7/8 May 2022
Semi-finals – 13/14/15 May 2022
Final – Saturday 28 May 2022

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