Premier Soccer Saturday
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|Premier Soccer Saturday|
|Starring||Bill O'Herlihy |
|Country of origin||Ireland|
|No. of seasons||15|
|No. of episodes||570 to 1710|
|Running time||90 minutes|
|Original network||RTÉ One|
|Original release||September 1998 –|
|Related shows||Monday Night Soccer |
In June 2013, RTÉ Sport confirmed that due to cost-cutting initiatives to save the station up to €1.3m a year, it would no longer have the Irish rights to television coverage of the Premier League, with the 2012-13 Premier League season being the final season shown on RTÉ Sport.
The programme was broadcast on RTÉ Two every Saturday evening between 19:30 and 21:00 and occasionally on Sunday (when there was an important game played that day) during the English league soccer season, showing highlights of Premier League football matches. When the show was aired on a day other than Saturday, it used the appropriately customised title (e.g. Premier Soccer Sunday). The programme only showed English association football, as Monday Night Soccer covered Irish association football.
The programme was first broadcast in September 1998 as The Premiership. Between August 2004 and May 2007, RTÉ also had the broadcasting rights to 15 live Premier League matches on Saturday afternoons (kick off: 15:00). These programmes were called Premiership Live. Setanta Sports obtained exclusive rights to the games from the 2007–08 season.
On 18 December 2010, five games were postponed on Saturday and only two games went ahead. So, because there was only two games to show highlights of in one and a half hours. So, due to that they showed extended highlights of both games and talked about the thought of the Premier League having a winter break.
On 19 December 2010, a Premier Soccer Sunday special was scheduled because there was two games on that day and one was between Manchester United and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. However, both of the games were postponed which meant there was no games in the Premier League that day and Premier Soccer Soccer Sunday was cancelled that day.
There was a new feature to Premier Soccer Saturday where fans come on the show and give their opinion on the match shown. When the fans came on to the show, they analysed matches and it was nicknamed "Fanalysts". Due to the length of the fans analysis and extended match highlights the shows were about 2 to 3 hours long when the fans came on the show.
On 30 April 2012, there was a special "Premier Soccer Monday" that showed highlights of the Manchester Derby between the top two teams of that year's Premier League. Man City won 1-0 thanks to a goal by Vincent Kompany which meant that City went on to win the Premier League. Because the game began at 19:45 the highlights show ran from 23:00 to 00:00. They only showed one match during the one hour so there was extended highlights of the match..
In May 2013, RTÉ Head of sport Ryle Nugent announced that RTÉ Sport would not pay for the rights of Premier League to show highlights. Therefore, Premier Soccer Saturday/Sunday was finished.
Pundits that sometimes featured on the show included Eamon Dunphy, Johnny Giles, Ray Houghton, Trevor Steven, Kenny Cunningham, Ronnie Whelan, Liam Brady, Richard Sadlier and Graeme Souness. Republic of Ireland player Stephen Hunt made a guest appearance as an analyst in April 2012.
Commentary on the match highlights and reports were provided by, amongst others, George Hamilton, Stephen Alkin, Ger Canning, Adrian Eames, John Kenny, Joanne Cantwell, Jimmy Magee and Seán O'Sullivan.
- "RTÉ announces end of Premier League coverage". RTÉ Sport. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- "RTÉ axes its Premier League show to save station €1.3m a year". Irish Independent. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- Ahern: 'Don't blame the recession on me'. 20 August 2008.