Eir acquire Setanta Sports in game changer deal

Ireland’s largest telecoms group Eir (formerly Eircom) confirmed today that it is to expand its TV service with the acquisition of sports pay television channel Setanta Sports for an undisclosed sum. The move puts Eir in direct competition against rival cable TV and broadband provider Virgin Media.

The acquisition will allow Eir to expand its TV offering and enhance the range of propositions on offer to their customers.

Eir have made no comment on the price of the acquisition but industry experts have suggested that Setanta could be worth up to €20 million.

“Buying Setanta Sports Ireland is a game changer for eir and is our largest acquisition since we purchased Meteor in 2005,” said Richard Moat, chief executive of Eir.

Jon Florsheim, managing director of Eir Consumer, said, “We are confident the air brand together with our great value bundles will now appeal to even more households.”

Setanta Sports was launched in Ireland in 2004 and it operates two sports channels in Ireland and has hi-tech production facilities in Dublin’s city centre. It offers a range of exclusive sports content including Live Barclays Premier League Games, every UEFA Champions League game and exclusive Europa League games, and exclusive European Rugby Champions Cup games.

Eir has around 2.3 million fixed-line and mobile service customers across the country.

The deal will require the approval of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission together with the approval of the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources before completion. Those processes will commence with formal notifications in the coming weeks.