Virgin Media customers to lose eir Sport and BT Sport at the end of July
Published 18/07/2016 | 21:43
Up to 300,000 Virgin Media customers will not be able to watch eir Sport or BT Sport from July 31 after both sides failed to agree on a new wholesale arrangement for the pack of six channels
The decision will mean that Virgin Media customers will not have access to eir Sport and BT Sport's coverage of the Allianz National Hurling and Football Leagues, the Airtricity League, some Republic of Ireland friendlies, 42 Premier League matches, live FA Cup games, every Champions League and Europa League game, European Rugby Champions Cup games involving Irish provinces and Conor McGregor's UFC fights including his showdown with Nate Diaz at UFC 202 in August.
Virgin has signed a new multi-year deal with Sky that will see it carry a range of their entertainment and sport channels, including Sky Sports Mix.
This channel will be offered as part of Virgin Media’s basic TV pack, replacing Setanta Sports (now Eir Sport), which it had carried since its launch in 2004.
Sky Sports mix will air La Liga games, 2018 World Cup qualifiers and a select number of Premier League and football league games.
Virgin have claimed that the eir Sport's failure to retain the rights to Saturday afternoon Premier League games and a fall off in subscription numbers were behind their decision.
Virgin Media’s customers paid €22 a month to subscribe to Eir Sport’s pack of channels.
In a statement this evening, eir Sport claimed that they are available for further negotiations if Virgin Media wish to return to negotiations.
"Virgin Media has stated that the channels will remain on its TV service until the 31st July. This decision affects over 300,000 Virgin TV customers as the eir Sport 1 channel (formerly Setanta Ireland) will disappear from channel 105. This channel carries F1, GAA, FA Cup, Rep. of Ireland internationals and lots more live sport.
"If Virgin Media wants to carry the channels from August 1st eir Sport is available for further talks to ensure their customers don’t miss out.
"All eir broadband customers can receive the eir Sport pack for free as part of an eir broadband bundle."