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Virgin Media suspend supply of sports channels to eir Sport

The broadcaster say the decision is in relation to a failure ‘to pay the contracted distribution licence fee’.

Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Updated Aug 13th 2020, 10:10 PM

VIRGIN MEDIA SPORT have tonight announced that they have suspended their supply of sports channels to eir Sport, explaining it is in relation to a failure ‘to pay the contracted distribution licence fee’.

The decision was revealed in a statement tweeted out by Virgin Media Sport at a time when they were showing coverage of the first half of the Champions League quarter-final tie between Atletico Madrid and RB Leipzig.

The statement in full reads:

“We have suspended our supply of Virgin Media Sport and Virgin Media Sport Extra to eir Sport because, eir has failed to pay the contracted distribution licence fee.

“Please refer to eir’s technical support line: 1890 260 260, or contact @eircare.”

In response eir Sport have issued a statement tonight to The42 outlining their stance on the issue and claim they ‘offered fair terms’ which reflected ‘the reduced timetable’ in sport this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In common with other live entertainment businesses operating through this pandemic, eir Sports can only pay for the sports events that actually take place.

“We have consistently offered fair terms to each of our live sports content providers to reflect the reduced timetable, however Virgin Media has not agreed to updated terms and has taken the unreasonable step of unilaterally withholding their feed from Virgin Media Sports viewers on the eir network.

“eir Sports remains committed to offering the best in available live sports entertainment and we are working towards a swift resolution to this issue.”

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The timing will impact Irish soccer fans who rely on the service with Virgin Media providing coverage of this month’s Champions League knockout ties being held in Portugal and the Europa League action from Germany.

The quarter-final games continue in the premier continental competition with tomorrow night’s glamour tie between Barcelona and Bayern Munich before Man City take on Lyon on Saturday night.

Last August it was announced that Virgin Media and eir Sport were joining forces as they had agreed a deal to carry their sports channels on each other’s TV platforms.

It was welcome news for Irish sports viewers with Virgin Media’s soccer coverage complemented by the rugby offering from eir Sport as they carried all 48 games of the Rugby World Cup from Japan last year.

Several viewers tonight complained that they were unable to watch the game between Atletico and Leipzig.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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