European Rugby bosses are yet to agree a new television deal with TNT Sports for next season but hosting ‘destination’ Champions Cup semi-finals is a new idea being considered.

TNT – previously known as BT Sport – are the main British broadcast partner of the European game’s premier competition. This season they have shown every Champions Cup match live.

TNT are also the Gallagher Premiership’s principal TV partner. Last month, they confirmed an expansion into international rugby and committed to delivering all 21 Autumn Nations Series fixtures later this year live, including England’s matches with New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Japan.

But discussions between European Rugby and TNT over a new contract have stalled with no immediate resolution in sight. It means that as things stand, it is unclear which channel Champions Cup matches will be shown on in the United Kingdom in the 2024/25 campaign. Northampton and Harlequins were beaten by Leinster and Toulouse in last weekend’s semi-finals.

Those two matches took place at Dublin’s Croke Park and Stadium de Toulouse respectively.

Left tor right: TNT's Austin Healey, Lawrence Dallaglio and Craig Doyle before Saturday's Champions Cup semi-final at Croke Park

Left tor right: TNT's Austin Healey, Lawrence Dallaglio and Craig Doyle before Saturday's Champions Cup semi-final at Croke Park

Left tor right: TNT’s Austin Healey, Lawrence Dallaglio and Craig Doyle before Saturday’s Champions Cup semi-final at Croke Park

Toulouse advanced from their semi-final against Harlequins after a match in their home city

Toulouse advanced from their semi-final against Harlequins after a match in their home city

Toulouse advanced from their semi-final against Harlequins after a match in their home city

That has attracted criticism in some quarters as the two teams who will contest May 25’s final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium both played their last-four matches in their home cities.

But in future seasons, the two Champions Cup semi-finals could both be held at the same venue to create a festival of rugby in one location. Mail Sport understands Portugal and Benfica’s Estadio da Luz made a bid to do exactly that this season. The offer was turned down on this occasion although similar propositions in years to come may well be met with a different answer.

European Rugby chairman Dominic McKay has previously stated the huge ambition he has for the Champions and Challenge Cups as part of rugby’s plans to grow the game globally.

In February, McKay confirmed Spanish city Bilbao would host the 2026 Challenge and Champions Cup finals and that taking those showpiece games to the USA in the future is a serious possibility.

Sorting a new UK broadcast deal, though, must be one of the most immediate priorities for McKay and European Rugby’s chief executive Jacques Raynaud.

Discussions between European Rugby and TNT over a new contract have stalled

Discussions between European Rugby and TNT over a new contract have stalled

Discussions between European Rugby and TNT over a new contract have stalled

After nearly pulling off a thrilling comeback in Toulouse’s backyard before falling to a 38-26 defeat, Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care has turned his attentions to sealing a Premiership play-off spot.

With two games of the regular season to go, England’s top league is set for a thrilling finale.

Leaders Northampton, Saracens, Bath and Bristol currently occupy the coveted top four positions. Harlequins are fifth but level on points with the Bears.

Experienced No 9 Care wants his team to brush off the Toulouse disappointment when they travel to Exeter on Saturday. Harlequins’ final game is against play-off rivals Bristol.

Danny Care has set sights on securing a Premiership play-off spot after defeat to Toulouse

Danny Care has set sights on securing a Premiership play-off spot after defeat to Toulouse

Danny Care has set sights on securing a Premiership play-off spot after defeat to Toulouse 

‘We have to. It would be very disappointing for us not to make a semi-final or a final in the Premiership this season after everything we’ve gone through. We’re desperate,’ Care said.

‘We know how tough it is going to be. We’ve got another big game on Saturday against Exeter. We’ve probably got to win both our remaining games to make the top four.

‘We’ll sink our teeth into that and try to make a Premiership final. We genuinely felt we could get close against a team as good as Toulouse and could have won. Maybe we should have.

‘Now it’s back to the Premiership. We’ve got to dry our tears pretty quickly.’

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