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Champions League returns tomorrow night but where will you be able to watch it?
BT Sport have joined the party in place of Sky Sports and ITV, but old reliables RTÉ and TV3 remain.

BT Sport Champions League The BT Sport team.

THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE group stages are back this week and, if you haven’t heard yet, there is one major change to how it will be shown on TV in this part of the world.

In recent years, we, the Irish viewer, could watch the continent’s elite club competition in a couple of different ways.

While RTÉ and TV3 split the Irish broadcasting rights, ITV were the free-to-air option across the water with Sky Sports offering the most complete coverage as part of their subscription package.

However, both Sky and ITV were beaten to the latest TV deal by BT Sport, who have shelled out €1.1 billion to obtain exclusive broadcasting rights for the Champions League and Europa League for the next three seasons.

It’s a major coup for the company, which launched just two years ago, and they have invested heavily in a bid to become the long-term home of both European competitions — even launching a brand new channel, BT Sport Europe, specifically to show the games.

Match of the Day’s Gary Lineker has been brought in to front match nights, while the pundit team includes the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Steve McManaman, Harry Redknapp, Glenn Hoddle, Steven Gerrard and Owen Hargreaves.

As well as showing two live matches each night on BT Sports Europe and BT Sport 2, the red button service will allow you to switch between any games of your choice.

James Richardson of Football Italia and The Guardian’s Football Weekly podcast fame will also present a live ‘Goals’ show.

BT Sport / YouTube

But what does it all mean for your midweek nights?

Well, you will still get one live game each match day on terrestrial television as RTÉ (Wednesdays) and TV3 (Tuesdays) have retained their rights.

RTE Panel Champions LEague Darragh Maloney and the RTÉ panel are back for another season.

In order to avail of BT Sport in Ireland, however, you must subscribe to the Setanta Sports package.

It’s around €20-25 per month depending on the length of the contract you sign up for, while there is an introductory price of €1 for the first month if you fancy testing it out.

For Week 1, here’s where you can watch what:

Tuesday

TV3: PSV Eindhoven v Manchester United

BT Sport Europe: Manchester City v Juventus

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BT Sport 2: PSV Eindhoven v Manchester United

BT Sport/ESPN: Champions League Goals Show

Wednesday

RTÉ: Dinamo Zagreb v Arsenal

BT Sport Europe: Dinamo Zagreb v Arsenal

BT Sport 2: Chelsea v Maccabi Haifa

BT Sport/ESPN: Champions League Goals Show

Where will you be watching the Champions League this season? Tell us in the comment section below

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