Following on from its successful stint as sole Irish TV broadcaster of the recent Rugby World Cup, TV3 has bagged the broadcasting rights for the Six Nations Championship rights from 2018.
TV3 will take over from RTÉ after it won the recent tender to broadcast the tournament from the Six Nations for a four-year period beginning in 2018. TV3 will broadcast every game live and free-to-air.TV3’s coverage will also include previews, magazine programmes and highlight shows as well as delayed match replays of all matches to complement live coverage and give maximum exposure to ‘Rugby’s Greatest Championship’.
Over the last two years viewership in Ireland has averaged over 400,000 per match. Ireland has enjoyed back-to-back title success in the Six Nations Championship in 2014 and 2015.
Commenting on the agreement, John Feehan, CEO of Six Nations Rugby said: “We are delighted to be working with TV3 on developing the interest in the Championship and to ultimately grow this wonderful competition in Ireland. TV3’s coverage of Rugby World Cup was very successful and we believe that they will inject new and exciting ideas in the broadcasting of the Six Nations Championship.”
Niall Cogley, TV3 Group Director of Broadcasting said: “In the last two months, TV3 has been able to demonstrate its credentials as Ireland’s National Commercial Broadcaster with a refreshing and comprehensive presentation of all 48 games of Rugby World Cup 2015. We are grateful that the Six Nations Unions, the Federations and their Executive team were sufficiently impressed by our recent work. We very much look forward to presenting Rugby’s Greatest Championship into the foreseeable future and making TV3 the home of rugby in Ireland.”
Pictured: BT Sport Ambassadors Brian O’Driscoll and Rio Ferdinand from a recent Setanta Sports/BT Sport
It was also a good week for rival broadcaster Setanta Sports which announced that it has secured the rights to BT Sport content in the Republic of Ireland in a new, multi-year agreement. The new agreement includes BT Sport channels and sports content, meaning that Setanta Sports pack customers in Ireland can continue to receive BT Sport 1 HD, BT Sport 2 HD, ESPN on BT Sport HD and the new BT Sport Europe HD channel.
Michael O’Rourke, co-founder and CEO of Setanta Sports said: “This is great news for our customers and means that sports fans in Ireland will continue to receive the great sports content that BT Sport brings to our pack. The BT Sport channels have gone from strength to strength both in terms of production and sports content and our Irish customers truly value that the Setanta pack is the only place to receive these great channels.”
In addition to the Setanta Ireland and Setanta 1 channels, customers here receive BT Sport 1 HD, BT Sport 2 HD, ESPN on BT Sport and the new BT Sport Europe HD channel. These channels bring a huge range of live football including every UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League game, live FA Cup, live Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and most importantly for Irish fans, from August 2016, BT Sport will have 42 exclusively live Premier League Games including the 28 Saturday 5.30pm games.
BT Sport has continued to grow its portfolio of sport beyond soccer which also includes 35 live European Rugby Champions Cup games, 69 Aviva Premiership Rugby games, all the big live UFC events, Moto GP and the best in live US Sports.
Delia Bushell, Managing Director of BT TV and BT Sport, added “Setanta Sports have been great to work with over the past two and a half years and we are delighted that they will continue to carry our BT Sport channels for the long term. We have seen their passion for sport first hand and look forward to growing the relationship in the future.”