The new sports channel Eir Sport has acquired the exclusive Irish rights to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
The announcement was made yesterday by Eir Sport chief executive and Setanta founder Mickey O'Rourke as Eir made its first major broadcasting move since its acquisition of Setanta Sports Ireland by rebranding the channel as Eir Sport.
The company launched a sports package of six channels, comprising the two former Setanta channels and four BT Sports channels.
The package will be available free to all its 370,000 broadband customers or over its Eir TV platform. It will also be available to new customers.
Jon Florsheim, managing director of of Eir's consumer division, said the objective of the rebranding and the sports package is to reward broadband customers and to differentiate between Eir and what other broadband companies offer.
" The way it works is that every customer who has Eir broadband will have access to this sports bundle for free, saving them in the region of €300 a year," said Mr Florsheim.
"New customers will need to enter into an 18- month contract but our existing customers will continue under their existing contract."
Eir Sport will continue to provide the content that Setanta had. This includes Barclays Premier League games, every UEFA Champions League game, exclusive Europa League games, and the FA Cup. For fans of other sports, Eir Sport will also offer exclusive European Rugby Champions Cup games, all Formula 1 races, games, all Formula 1 races, live Allianz Leagues GAA games and The Masters.
Customers will be able to access the channels via a new Eir Sport app or their eir Vision box. Eir broadband customers, who also have Sky TV, will be able to access the channels via their Sky TV box. Any Eir broadband customers who currently pay for a sports pack will no longer be charged for Eir Sport or BT Sports. This content will also be available at no extra cost for those on a multi- room package. Packages start from €25.
Richard Moat, Eir chief executive, helped launch the rebrand at Eir's Dublin headquarters yesterday, with guests including former rugby international Brian O'Driscoll.