By Jerome O’Connell Limerick Leader Sport

LIMERICK GAA officials have confirmed the three fixtures to be televised live in the opening round of the 2018 Limerick SHC.

Round one of the new-look county championship commences on April 20-22 and three games will be live on tv within 24-hours – all three in the Gaelic Grounds.

Just weeks after their All Ireland club SHC final defeat, Na Piarsaigh will begin their county title defence against Doon in a repeat of last season’s semi final. The Sunday afternoon tie will be live on TG4.

There will be a double-header live on eir Sport on Saturday – 2014 champions Kilmallock play 2016 finalists Ballybrown and 2016 champions Patrickswell play neighbours Adare.

eir Sport begin their 2018 club championship coverage this weekend with two games live from the Dublin SHC, including All Ireland champions Cuala.

In total over a dozen Limerick SHC games could be set for live TV coverage this season – including the Limerick SHC final, which will be played on Saturday October 13 and will be live on eir Sport.

Last year, eir Sport televised the Limerick SHC quarter finals and semi finals live, while TG4 had live coverage of the county final.

The Limerick SHC has a new format for 2018.

A ‘Super Six’ format has divided the 12-teams into two seeded groups of six.

The top two teams in Group 1 will qualify for the semi finals with teams three and four into quarter finals against the top two teams in Group 2.

There will be promotion/relegation between the groups – the bottom team in Group 1 will automatically be relegated to Group 2, with the top team in that group elevated to the Super Six.

The bottom team in Group 2 will be automatically relegated to the Premier IHC with the Limerick Premier IHC winners promoted to Group 2.