Amazon Prime and DAZN are reportedly front-runners to take over the rights.
Virgin Media Sport have lost their Irish television Uefa Champions League rights for the next three seasons due to a price increase.
The new rights begin from the start of the 2021/22 season, meaning this will be Virgin Media’s final season covering Champions League football for at least three years.
It is understood that RTE have retained their rights to the pick of Tuesday night matches.
However, Ireland’s state broadcaster won’t be taking over Virgin Media’s current package of the remaining games – which includes 15 out of the 16 group stage games each match day.
Instead, a new unknown entrant to the market has made a higher bid than Virgin Media for the rights.
While still uncertain on the identity of the new bidder, reports suggest that Amazon Prime Sport or indeed DAZN could be taking over the second package.
Other options could be existing TV sports stations Eir Sport or Premier Sports.
Uefa are still in talks with the bidder and an announcement is believed to be imminent.
Disappointing news about Champions League rights but you can't win 'em all.
Has been brilliant working with so many talented people in front and especially behind the camera over the last decade or so.
We will charge on for the rest of the season, onwards and upwards!
— Tommy Martin (@TommyMartinVM) March 1, 2021
Virgin Media Champions League presenter Tommy Martin tweeted his disappointment about the news. He thanked the staff that had worked on the coverage over the last ten years.
“Disappointing news about Champions League rights but you can’t win ’em all,” Martin said.
“Has been brilliant working with so many talented people in front and especially behind the camera over the last decade or so.
“We will charge on for the rest of the season, onwards and upwards!”
Virgin Media Television managing director Paul Farrell also expressed his disappointment at missing out on the rights.
Nevertheless, Virgin Media were “happy to walk away” rather than pay too much for the rights.
“We made a competitive bid that was slightly higher than last time for the packages we wanted,” Farrell said.