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Eir Sport (stylised as eir Sport; formerly Setanta Sports) is a group of Irish television sports channels operated by Eircom Sport Limited, a subsidiary of Eir.[1] In December 2015, Eir purchased original Setanta Sports operations in the Republic of Ireland,[2] which the company rebranded as Eir Sport on 5 July 2016.[3]

Eir Sport
Eirsportlogo.png
Owned byEir
Formerly calledSetanta Sports (2007-2016)
Websitewww.eirsport.ie

HistoryEdit

 
Setanta Sports logo used from 2007 to 2016.

In the wake of the financial difficulties of Setanta GB, it was reported in June 2009 by RTÉ News that the original Setanta Sports channel, Setanta Ireland, might be bought out by an existing consortium who already hold interests in Setanta Sport Holdings Ltd., the Irish arm of Setanta Sports. Setanta Sports Ireland and Setanta Sports North America were the only brands which made a profit in 2008.[4]

In July 2009, the ownership structure of Setanta Sports Channel Ireland Limited (previously Setanta Sports Ireland Ltd) changed. Setanta Sports Channel Ireland Limited was co-owned by Gaiety Investments (60% share) with the remaining 40% share made up by Danu Partners Limited. The main shareholders in Danu are Michael O'Rourke, Leonard Ryan, and Mark O'Meara. Danu purchased 100% of the shares in Setanta Sports North America Limited which was disposed of in early 2010. Setanta Sports Channel Ireland Limited is licensed by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

The Setanta business in Ireland has managed to survive, making a strong recovery since the adversity in Great Britain. The company continued its resurrection by employing a further 50 employees in February 2010.[5] Colin Morgan, formerly CEO of Quinn Direct Insurance, joined the Setanta Ireland business in October 2010.

In June 2013 it was announced that Setanta Sports will carry the new BT Sport channels as part of its overall sports package for Irish viewers. The deal added 38 live Premier League games to its TV package and bring to 71 the total number of top-flight English matches on offer to Irish subscribers for the following three years.[6]

In 2015 it was announced that Eir were in the process of buying Setanta's remaining Irish operations (Setanta Ireland and Setanta Sports 1). The deal also includes the sale of the Setanta Sports Pack which includes BT Sport.[7] On 5 July 2016, Setanta Sports was renamed Eir Sport.

ChannelsEdit

In addition to the television channels above, Eir Sport also distributes the following BT Sport channels in the Republic of Ireland: BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport 3, BT Sport ESPN and BoxNation

Sports coverageEdit

The Eir Sport pack offers commercial venues in several countries around the world programming of sports such as football, Gaelic football, hurling, golf, cricket, Australian rules football, boxing, NHL ice hockey and rugby union and league.

In May 2018, it was announced that Eir Sport would broadcast all 152 games in the Pro14 from the 2018-19 season after agreeing a three-year deal.[8]

AvailabilityEdit

Eir Sport services are available for free through the Eir Sport package on Eir Broadband. Eir Sport services are also available through Sky Ireland, Eir TV and Vodafone TV.

The channels were previously available to the customers of what is now Virgin Media Ireland. In February 2010, the Setanta Ireland channel was available to entire subscribers of the cable TV provider as a basic channel in Ireland, around 1.3 million homes but actually in about 530,000.[9] From August 2016, Virgin Media Ireland no longer has Eir Sport (and BT Sport) channels available to customers.

High definitionEdit

Setanta Sports launched Ireland's first high-definition channel. The channel was announced in September 2010,[10] and later launched as Setanta HD February 2011,[11] exclusively on UPC Ireland. The Dublin v Armagh Gaelic football encounter on 5 February 2011 was Ireland's first broadcast of Gaelic Games in high definition.[12]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Julian Clover (5 July 2016). "Setanta Ireland rebranded as eir Sport". Broadband TV News.
  2. ^ Michael Cogley (7 December 2015). "Eir acquires Setanta Sports including BT Sport's Irish rights". Independent.ie. Independent News and Media.
  3. ^ "Eir rebrands Setanta channels as part of new offer". RTÉ News. 5 July 2016.
  4. ^ "ESPN snaps up Premier League rights". RTÉ News. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  5. ^ Setanta to add 50 to workforce Irish Examiner, 24 February 2010
  6. ^ "Setanta Sports adds BT Sport Channels to line-up". IFTN.ie. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Eir agrees deal to purchase Setanta Sports Ireland". 7 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Eir Sport to broadcast every PRO14 game over the next three years". Irish Independent. 3 May 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  9. ^ Setanta set to broadcast top-class sport on new Asia station Independent.ie, 24 February 2010
  10. ^ Setanta becomes first Irish channel to go HD Archived 15 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine TechTV101 Ireland, 17 September 2010
  11. ^ GAA goes HD for the very first time on Setanta Archived 5 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine GAA.ie, 31 January 2011
  12. ^ .Setanta to broadcast GAA matches in HD Business and Leadership, 1 February 2011

External linksEdit