MADRID — Spanish pay TV operator Sogecable has inked a new, three-year pay TV deal for rights to soccer matches from the European Champions League, the continent’s premier soccer club competition.

The accord runs from next season to 2005/06.

Under the terms of the agreement with UEFA soccer authorities, Sogecable has an exclusive first-option in Spain on one game played Tuesday nights and an exclusive second choice to a Wednesday game.

Sogecable will be able to air other games in their totality either live or by offering highlights.

In a departure, Sogecable will now be able to offer a magazine format that switches live from one game to another.

Sogecable previously shared Champions League pay TV rights with rival Via Digital. The Champions League deal comes as Sogecable continues to thrash out the practical details, including programming, of its ongoing pay TV merger with Via Digital, which sees Sogecable absorbing Via. The single digital TV platform will offer joint programming from this summer.