Saturday 24 March 2018

Eir gets green light for Extra sports channels

Dublin’s James Small is tackled by Peter Crowley, left, and Bryan Sheehan of Kerry
Dublin’s James Small is tackled by Peter Crowley, left, and Bryan Sheehan of Kerry
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Telecoms company Eir has been granted approval by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) for two new channels which will allow it to show additonal GAA matches.

The new channels, Eir Sport 1 Extra and Eir Sport 2 Extra, are being created to allow the broadcaster to show three lives games simultaneously.

The BAI approved an application for the two new channels at a board meeting last Thursday.

This year Eir Sport is showing 23 live games instead of the usual 16 to 17 games for the Allianz Leagues. The stations will initially be available on the Eir Vision platform or via the Eir Sport app. On Sky, Eir will split the Eir Sport signals so that they will show separate content.

Virgin does not offer Eir Sport to its customers on the Virgin Media platform after failing to agree terms last year.

Glen Killane, Eir's head of television, said: "The rationale behind it is the need to provide more choice, covering more than just the high profile counties."

"There are very limited windows for GAA. It's 5pm and 7pm and there are a lot of great games happening at those times. GAA fans are passionate about their county and not every fan gets the opportunity to see live matches."

Eir said last week that just over 200,000 customers are now viewing its sports service on mobile devices and laptops.

Underlying revenue at the former semi-state company - whose strategy is to evolve into a media business - rose 2pc to €336m in the second quarter of its financial year.

Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 4pc to €121m in the quarter.

Sunday Indo Business

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