You'll now have to watch Ireland reach the Rugby World Cup quarter-final on a whole new channel
Eir Sport have entered the world of broadcasting with a bang.
The new sports channel has acquired the exclusive Irish rights for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The telecommunications company, which acquired Setanta Sports Ireland before rebranding the channel eir Sport, has secured all of the Republic of Ireland rights for the upcoming World Cup.
TV3 won the bidding war to show the Irish games exclusively at the 2015 competition in England and Wales, ending RTÉ's reign of airing the Irish World Cup games. But, now, eir Sport will be the home of the Ireland action when the country bids to make yet another RWC quarter-final.
The Ireland games will still be free to air.
"We are delighted to have secured all the Republic of Ireland rights to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan," eir Sport CEO and Setanta founder Mickey O'Rourke said on Tuesday.
"We are very thankful to World Rugby for entrusting us with these rights along with the U20s Championship, the Women's World Cup and Sevens rights."
The Rugby rights negotiated with the deal include:
- The Rugby World Cup 2019 hosted in Japan
- The Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017, hosted in Ireland
- The annual U20 Championship from 2017 through 2019
- The Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2018 (men’s and women’s)
As part of the deal, eir Sport will ensure that 13 live games from the Rugby World Cup will be on free to air TV including the Ireland games, the semi-finals and the final.
If you're an eir broadband customer, the pack - which includes six channels (four of which are BT Sport) - will be available for free. Alternatively, it can be obtained over its TV platform.
Rugby sold to the highest bidder, again.