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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 15 April 2021

Virgin Media and eir Sport join forces to combine sports offering for Irish viewers

The broadcasters have agreed a deal to carry each other’s channels.

eir Sport carries live coverage of the Pro14 in Ireland.
eir Sport carries live coverage of the Pro14 in Ireland.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

VIRGIN MEDIA AND eir Sport have today agreed a deal to carry their sports channels on each other’s TV platforms, in a welcome announcement for Irish subscribers ahead of the new rugby and football seasons.

Under the agreement, Virgin Media Sport — which offers extensive Champions League and Europa League coverage — will be available to eir customers as part of their sports pack, while in turn, eir Sport will now be available to Virgin Media TV customers.  

Both broadcasters say the new offerings will come at no extra cost for existing customers. 

The new deal follows a similar one between Sky Sports and BT Sport in Ireland, which marked the launch of Sky Sports Extra and resulted in eir Sport losing the BT Sport and Premier Sports channels from its sports pack.

Today’s announcement is good news for rugby fans, in particular, as eir Sport is the official broadcaster of the Rugby World Cup in Ireland, and will carry all 48 games of the upcoming tournament live. 

The new arrangement between Virgin Media and eir Sport will come into effect in time for the start of the World Cup in Japan next month, as well as the opening weeks of the Champions League and Europa League group stages. 

“This is great news for Virgin Media and eir customers who will now be able to enjoy an even greater choice of sports programming on our platforms,” a joint statement from the broadcasters said.

In addition, eir Sport is also the main Irish rights holder for the Guinness Pro14, while also carrying live coverage of the Allianz hurling and football leagues, FA Cup, SSE Airtricity League and Wimbledon among its other offerings.

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Former Ireland internationals Jerry Flannery, Gordon D’Arcy and Peter Stringer were last month confirmed as part of eir Sport’s panel for the World Cup, with Tommy Bowe in the presenter’s chair.

Virgin Media Sport, meanwhile, has over 300 European football matches live across the season, including the Uefa Nations League and Euro 2020 qualifiers, as well as the Six Nations, Heineken Champions Cup and horse racing from Cheltenham and Aintree. 

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Ryan Bailey

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