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This is where you can catch this season's best sporting action 

Conor Dever

Conor Dever

Staff Writer

Last year was a cracking year for sport and this one looks set to be no different.

The evenings are drawing in and there's now a chill in the air at night as our ‘summer’ slumps towards its final stanza. Soon the kids will be back in school, the leaves will turn brown and fall to the earth, road traffic will pick up and we'll all be settling back into our usual routines.

However the dark nights will be kept bright, as they ever were, by the sparks of excitement from a new sporting season. So with that in mind, we look forward with bated breath to the coming bumper season of competition.

However, sports rights are valuable, more valuable than ever in fact, which means more companies and services are looking for your hard-earned cash to watch it all. But with more channels offering more sporting action than ever before it's becoming nigh on impossible to figure out where and how to watch it all. So we decided to dig through all the details to find out for you.  

So to all the sports fans out there, this is where you can catch this season's best sporting action, and how much it will all cost. Let’s get started…

Where is the best place to watch the rugby?

This is a big year for a couple of reasons. But for rugby fans, there is one reason this year feels extra special: The Rugby World Cup, which kicks off in earnest on 20th September with the hosts, and Ireland's groupmates Japan, taking on Russia. 

In the last four years, Joe Schmidt's side has been building to this competition, peaking - as Ireland teams tend to - a year out from the kick-off of the tournament. However the prospect of winning our group still looks good. However, should Ireland get through the group stage we will likely take on either a resurgent South Africa or favourites New Zealand. All signs point to an exit at the same juncture we have exited 5-out-of-the-8 times before: the quarter-finals. We live in hope of a surprise though. 

Whatever should happen, true rugby fans will be looking for the best coverage of all of the action taking place in the land of the rising sun. Eir will be showing every single game from the World Cup on Eir Sport. However, should you not opt for that, RTE will be showing every single one of Ireland's games, as well as every knockout game, along with highlights of all of the day's action in the evenings if you want to catch it after work.

Eir will also have every game from the Guinness PRO14 but TG4 will also cover most of the Irish interest in that tournament, and Virgin Media will have the Six Nations.

As for the rest of the season, the best of the European rugby will be on BT Sport.

Where is the best place to watch the football?

It was one crazy season last year. Liverpool fell at the final hurdle in the Premier League, much to the chagrin of the fans, and the delight of others. A couple of weeks later though saw an open-top bus parade on the Merseyside when they managed to squeak past Spurs in the Champions League final. 

Manchester City managed to score more points in a single season than ever which went largely overlooked by fans and critics alike. The break between seasons provided ample food for thought and now we have compelling drama surrounding all of the top clubs in England meaning we should have an entertaining season ahead. 

As always Sky Sports will be your best to catch the Premiership action, but specifically the Sky Sports Extra package, which comes with BT Sport and Premier Sports. It will cost you a bit more but will grant you access to EVERY single Premier League game as well as every Champions League and Europe League game as well as some good rugby action too. 

Where is the best place to watch the GAA?

The GAA this year was a tale of two halves, on one side you had a cracking championship with white knuckle action, drawing interest from people around the globe for the open and skilful battle, then on the other side was the football. 

The hurling served up another cornucopia of nerve-jangling action, with holders Limerick being dumped out by an under-hyped Kilkenny who were then dismantled by Liam Sheedy’s Tipperary.

Entertainment with Sky Sports & Sports Extra

Entertainment with Sky Sports & Sports Extra

  • 64 channels (see all channels)
  • 12 month contract
64
TV channels
€1,129
€793
First year cost
€54*
Monthly cost
Monthly cost
€54

In the football, there were about 35 minutes when Dublin played Mayo when the winner of the Championship seemed uncertain. Of course, that uncertainty was ultimately dispensed with after about seven minutes of the second half.

Despite some vocal detractors, the rights situation between Sky and RTE has not changed and is unlikely to until after the 2021 Championship so you will need the combination of the two if you want to stay abreast of all the 2020 Championship. 

Where is the best place to watch the Golf, Tennis, and other sports?

2020 will see the Ryder Cup kick off in September in Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, with Sky Sports providing all the action.

Before that though, we will see some other great golfing action with Sky again the best place to watch it all. It will show every men's and women's Major, as well as every European Tour and PGA Tour event. 

If you're a tennis fan Sky has coverage of some of the lower-level ATP events while BT Sport has coverage of all the top WTA action.

Eir will have coverage of Roland Garros and Wimbledon, but for top-flight men's action you'll need to sign up for Amazon Prime.

Soccer

Rugby

GAA

Other

RTÉ

All of Ireland's Euro 2020 qualifiers

Euro 2020 matches

One Champions League game per match day

Some League of Ireland football

All of Ireland's RWC games, the quarterfinals, semifinals, & final as well as daily highlights 

All-Ireland senior football & hurling championships (up to 31 exclusive games) 

Allianz football & hurling leagues - highlights only

TG4

Most Connacht, Ulster, Munster, & Leinster Guinness PRO14 games 

All-Ireland club senior football & hurling championships  

Allianz football & hurling leagues - live games

Ladies' football & camogie 

Virgin Media Sport

Every single Champions League & Europa League game live

UEFA Nations League (non-Ireland games)

UEFA Euro 2020 (non-Ireland games)

Liam Miller Tribute match

Every 2020 Six Nations match

Nine games from this year’s Champions Cup

The Cheltenham Festival, the Epsom Derby & Aintree Grand National 

Eir Sport

At least 20 FA Cup games

At least 15 SSE Airtricity League of Ireland games

All of Ireland's home UEFA U21 qualifiers

All 48 2019 RWC games

Guinness PRO14 - all 152 games 

14 GAA Allianz football & hurling league games

Masters Golf from Augusta

Tennis coverage from Wimbledon & Roland Garros

BT Sport and Premier Sports

105 Premier League games

UEFA Champions League

UEFA Europa League

Bundesliga, Serie A, Eredivisie, Ligue 1

FA Cup

FA Trophy

Scottish FA Cup 

European Rugby Champions Cup

Premiership Rugby

NHL, Major League Baseball

Canadian Football League

WTA Tennis 

NASCAR, Moto GP 

Cricket

Boxing

Sky Sports

128 Premier League games

World Cup qualifiers

European Qualifiers

UEFA Nations League, EFL

Championship, League 1 & 2

Scottish Premier League, Scottish Cup

Carabao Cup

Copa Del Rey

International Tests

All-Ireland senior football & hurling championships (up to 14 exclusive games)

European Tour Golf 

All Masters events

Ryder Cup

US PGA Tour

World Golf Championships, MLS

NBA

WNBA, F1

Cricket 

ATP tennis - some ATP 250 events

Darts

Amazon

ATP tennis - all Masters 1000 tournaments, ATP Tour Final & US Open

NFL Thursday night games



How much does it cost?

Virgin Media Sport

If you're a Virgin Media customer for TV, Virgin Media Sport won't cost you anything extra. If you're not a TV customer and just have Virgin Media mobile or broadband, you can watch live via the Virgin TV Anywhere App for free for the first two months, then €5 a month thereafter. 

Virgin Media Sport is now also included in the Eir Sport pack for free. 

Sky Sports

For Sky customers, adding Sky Sports you will cost €20 a month extra for the first six months, and €40 a month thereafter. Eir TV customers can add Sky Sports onto their TV package for a similar price.

However if you are with Virgin Media you can currently add Sky Sports for just €1 extra a month.

BT Sport and Premier Sports

These channels used to come for free as part of the Eir Sport pack. However Eir caused consternation among a lot of customers a few weeks ago when it announced that it had lost the rights to distribute the channels and would be pulling them from its standard sports package. 

The channels now come in what's called the Sky Sports Extra package.

Existing Sky Sports customers through Sky can add BT Sport and Premier Sports for an extra €10 a month for the first six months and €20 a month thereafter. This will be a first-year additional cost of €180.

If you're with Sky for TV but don't have Sky Sports you can just add BT Sport and Premier Sports for €17 per month for the first six months and €34 a month thereafter. This will give a first-year cost of €306.

For Eir TV customers who already have Sky Sports they can add BT Sport and Premier Sports onto their package for €9.99 a month for the first six months, and then €19.99 a month thereafter. This gives a first-year additional cost of €179.88 for the channels.

Eir TV customers without Sky Sports can just add the BT Sport and Premier Sports pack by itself for €14.99 a month for the first six months, and €33.99 thereafter. This gives a first-year cost of €293.88.

Eir Sport

The Eir Sport pack comes as standard with all of Eir’s TV offerings.

If you're just a broadband or mobile customer you will get access to the app where you can stream the channels on your device. 

So that means the cheapest way to get access would be by getting Eir's broadband and home phone package, which currently costs €29.99 a month for the first six months and €514.87 for an entire year.

Eir Sport is now also included for free with Virgin Media.  

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime currently costs Irish customers €2.99 a month for the first six months and €5.99 a month thereafter. However this is primarily a video-on-demand streaming service with limited sport - for now. However, if you are a big tennis fan and are looking to catch up on The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and their excellent new show The Boys, it might be worth a punt. 

Ready to sign up to a sports package?

At bonkers.ie we usually encourage people to switch as often as possible as we know that switching saves.

When it comes to picking a sports package, you really need to do your research though as there’s no point switching to a cheaper deal if the one you choose isn’t showing any of the sports you actually like.

You'll need to carefully decide what sports and events you want to see the most and then factor this, and the price, into the package that you choose. And if you're only interested in watching a few specific tournaments a year, you should consider the option of daily, weekly or monthly one-off subscriptions instead from the likes of Eurosport and Now TV.  

See here for more details on pay-as-you-go sport options.

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