Telecoms group Eir is in talks to acquire Dublin-based television broadcaster Setanta Sports.
The Irish Times reports that talks are at an advanced stage and a deal is likely to be completed in 2016 as long as it gets regulatory approval.
It adds that Setanta’s majority shareholder and co-founder Mickey O’Rourke would remain with the business for a period once the deal is completed. It says BT, which has a broadcast deal with Setanta, is aware of the discussions and is comfortable with a deal going ahead.
Setanta operates two sports channels in Ireland. It recently signed a multi-year extension to its current deal with BT Sports which allows it to offer BT’s sports channels to its customers.
Eir's television service, Eir Vision, is in competition with both Sky and Virgin Media. Last week it launched an on-the-go TV app called Eir Vision Go.
If the acquisition goes ahead it would bolster the company's sports offering.
A spokeswoman for Eir declined to comment. A spokesman for Setanta Sports said "We can’t comment on media speculation. It’s very much business as normal prior to a very busy weekend of sport for us."