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eir acquires Setanta Sports Ireland

MUMBAI: An Ireland telecom company eir has purchased Setanta Sports Channel Ireland Ltd, the international sports broadcaster, for an undisclosed sum. This includes BT Sport’s Irish rights.

The transaction allows eir to expand its TV offering and further enhance the range of propositions on offer to customers.

Setanta Sports Ireland offers a compelling range of exclusive sports content in the Republic of Ireland including Live Barclays Premier League Games, every UEFA Champions League game and exclusive Europa League games, FA Cup, exclusive European Rugby Champions Cup games, all Formula 1 races, live Allianz Leagues GAA games plus English Aviva Premiership Rugby, Irish Schools Rugby, Moto GP, UFC, NBA, NHL and The Masters. BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport Europe and BT Sport ESPN are also available as part of the Setanta Sports Pack in the Republic of Ireland.

eir CEO Richard Moat said, “This is an extremely exciting and very important first step for us in television content ownership. We will now offer our customers the widest range and highest calibre of sports content in Ireland. Buying Setanta Sports Ireland is a game changer for eir and is our largest acquisition since we purchased Meteor in 2005.”

eir Consumer MD Jon Florsheim commented, “Our customers, and the rest of the Irish viewing public, have a real appetite for high quality TV and particularly live sports programming. By acquiring Setanta Sports Ireland we have moved into the content space and we are hugely excited at the possibilities this presents. We are confident the eir brand together with our great value bundles will now appeal to even more households.”

Setanta Sports Ireland CEO Michael O’Rourke said, “Today marks a significant milestone for Setanta Sports Ireland. This is really positive news for our customers, our colleagues and our business. eir’s scale and reach presents us with the opportunity to grow our sports offering in Ireland. Since the launch of our Irish business in 2004 we have worked hard to build a business that ensures Irish sports fans can access the widest possible choice of Irish and International sport. This agreement will ensure growing investment in Irish sport. I’m delighted for the team at Setanta and the investors who have shown so much commitment over the years. I have no doubt the business will grow even further in the future.”

The deal will require the approval of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission together with the approval of the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources before completion. Those processes will commence with formal notifications in the coming weeks.