Eir Sport

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Eir Sport
Limited company
Industry Sports broadcasting
Founded Dublin, Ireland (1990 (1990))
Headquarters 1HSQ, St. John's Road,
Dublin 8, Ireland
Area served
Ireland
Northern Ireland
Asia
Central Asia
Russia
Baltic States
Parent Eir
Website www.eirsport.ie

Eir Sport is a sports television company based in Dublin, Ireland and a subsidiary of Irish telecommunications company Eir.[1] The company operates channels in the Republic of Ireland.

The company was previously known as Setanta Sports which was formed in 1990 to facilitate the broadcasting of Irish sporting events to international audiences. When under ownership of Setanta Sports the company operated channels in the UK, Asia, Australia, US & Canada.

Ownership[edit]

In December 2015, Eir purchased the Setanta Sports Ireland Ltd.[2] On July 5, 2016 Setanta Sports was rebranded to Eir Sport.[3]

Previous Ownership[edit]

Setanta Sports logo used from 2007 to 2016.

In July 2009, the ownership structure of Setanta Sports Channel Ireland Limited (previously Setanta Sports Ireland Ltd) changed. Setanta Sports Channel Ireland Limited is co-owned by Gaiety Investments (60% share) with the remaining 40% share made up by Danu Partners Limited. The main shareholders in Danu are Michael O'Rourke, Leonard Ryan, and Mark O'Meara. Danu purchased 100% of the shares in Setanta Sports North America Limited which was disposed of in early 2010. Setanta Sports Channel Ireland Limited is licensed by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

The Setanta business in Ireland has managed to survive despite the difficulties with Setanta GB. Colin Morgan, formerly CEO of Quinn Direct Insurance, joined the Setanta Ireland business in October 2010.

In 2015 it was announced that Eir were in the process of buying Setanta's remaining Irish Operations Setanta Ireland and Setanta Sports 1, the deal also includes the sale of the Setanta Sports Pack which includes BT Sport.[4] On 5 July 2016, Setanta Sports was renamed Eir Sport.

Availability[edit]

Within the Republic of Ireland eir Sport services are available for free through the eir Sport package on eir Broadband. eir Sport services are also available through Virgin Media Ireland, Sky Ireland, eir TV and Vodafone TV. From August 1, 2016 Virgin Media Ireland no-longer has Eir Sport available to customers.

Sports coverage[edit]

The eir Sport pack offers commercial venues in several countries around the world programming of sports such as football (except the English Premier League), Gaelic football, hurling, golf, cricket, Australian rules football, boxing, NHL ice hockey and rugby union (except the world cup and six nations the largest rugby tournaments) and league.

Channels[edit]

Republic of Ireland

Previous operations[edit]

Under the former company Setanta Ireland the sports company operated a number of channels which have either been sold off or closed.

Australia[edit]

As of August 2014 both Setanta Sports Australia and Setanta Sports Plus were sold to Al Jazeera Media Network with approval sought from regulators in Australia.[5] The channel became BeIN Sports Australia in November 2014.

Africa[edit]

Setanta operated Setanta Sports and Setanta Action until October 2013 when the channels were acquired by 21st Century Fox. In July 2014, Fox announced that from August 2014 the channels would be rebranded Fox Sports and Fox Sports 2.[6]

Great Britain[edit]

Setanta previously operated services in the UK, following a period of administration its UK services ceased operating.

Setanta GB operated Setanta Sports 1 & 2 and Setanta Golf within Great Britain. Under a joint venture with Virgin Media, it operated Setanta Sports News. Setanta GB also operated Arsenal TV, Celtic TV, LFC TV and Rangers TV with their respective clubs. Setanta GB went into administration on 22 June 2009, and at 18:00 most of its channels ceased operations within Great Britain.[7]

Arsenal TV continued until August 2009 while Arsenal explored alternative options.[8] Liverpool FC assumed responsibility for LFC TV and decided to continue broadcasting as normal.[9]

United States of America[edit]

Setanta Sports previously broadcast in the United States with Setanta Sports USA from 2005 to 2010. Fox Sports purchased the network's programming rights out of bankruptcy, adding them to Fox Soccer Channel's existing schedule and that on of a new network, Fox Soccer Plus.[10]

Canada[edit]

Setanta Sports previously operated a version of the channel in Canada as a joint venture with Canadian media company Rogers Communications (Setanta itself owned 20% of the network). However, its minority stake was acquired by Rogers in July 2011 and the channel was re-aligned as part of its Sportsnet networks, and become Sportsnet World on 3 October 2011.[11] The re-launch would also come alongside an overall re-branding of the Sportsnet networks.[12]

Asia[edit]

Setanta Sports launched a variation of the channel in Asia. In 2015, Discovery Networks International purchased the channel,[13] as of 2016 the channel is still branded as Setanta Sports under licence from Setanta Ireland. Discovery may decide to rebrand the channel in due course. Setanta Asia currently operates Setanta Sports Plus and Setanta Sports Asia.

Other business[edit]

  • In 2009, Setanta Sports had shares in OneVision. OneVision were initially given the opportunity to develop the digital terrestrial network in the Republic of Ireland. Negotiations with RTÉ Networks fell through in May 2010
  • From March 2010, Setanta Sports have provided www.setantabet.com an online gaming service for customers within Ireland. The venture was developed in partnership with Jennings Bet
  • In October 2010, Setanta HD was launched exclusively on UPC Ireland
  • In October 2010, Setanta Sports launched applications on the iPhone and a Setanta Goals service for other handsets

HD TV Channels[edit]

Eir Sport launched Ireland's first high-definition channel. The channel was announced in September 2010[14] and later launched as Setanta HD February 2011[15] The Dublin v Armagh Gaelic football encounter on 5 February 2011 was Ireland's first broadcast of Gaelic Games in high definition.[16]

In July 2016, the service was rebranded to eir Sport 1 HD and eir Sport 2 HD respectively.

See also[edit]

  • Special 1 TV – parody programme on Setanta Sports that featuring puppet caricatures of football personalities

References[edit]

External links[edit]