Sky closes deal to offer full Premier League coverage in Ireland
14 March 2019
Pay-TV operator Sky has agreed to a new partnership, which gives the Irish full Premier League coverage through a subscription.
The new partnership will be a blow for Sky’s rival Eir, which will lose access to broadcasting through BT Sports and Premier Sports.
A new partnership between Sky and Premier Sports will give viewers in Ireland full access to all Premier League fixtures. By the beginning of season 2019/20, all 233 matches in the Premier League are offered for view with the deal.
According to The Irish Times, Sky agreed on a distribution deal with BT back in October, gaining access to the broadcaster’s 52 live games in addition to the 128 fixtures it secured in last year’s auction.
Premier Sports, meanwhile, which is owned by Setanta Sports co-founder Michael O’Rourke, splashed out on the package of 20 games secured by e-commerce giant Amazon in the UK, along with the rights to 33 Saturday afternoon kick-offs which cannot be shown in the UK due to the broadcast blackout rule in the country.
Sky will now be able to offer Sky Sports, BT Sport and Premier Sports to its customers through one single package, with pricing set to be announced in the next couple of months.
Blow for competition
The exclusive aspect of both deals is a blow to Sky’s rival TV provider Eir, which is currently able to distribute content from BT Sport and Premier Sports, but will no longer be able to do so when Sky’s agreements come into effect this summer.
The Irish Times reports that Sky is interested in talking to other platforms about the wholesale distribution of both Premier Sports and BT Sport, which means both channels could once again become available to Eir customers if the operator can agree on a deal with Sky.
“Negotiations between Eir sport and Sky Sports, which own the distribution rights to the BT Sports channels in the Republic of Ireland, are ongoing,” an Eir Sport spokesman told The Irish Times.