Thursday, 12 November 2015

Irish Times: Sky Sports to broadcast live 3pm Premier League games in Ireland

Story from Irish Times:

For the first time ever Sky Sports will broadcast live coverage of 3pm Premier League kick-offs on Saturdays, beginning next season and available exclusively to Irish customers.

The deal comes at the same time as BT Sport has announced that, from next season, they will show live coverage of 5.30pm Saturday evening kick-offs.

These games will be available to Irish viewers through the Setanta Sports pack.

The move is a significant one for Sky as blackout laws in the UK mean that no live football can be shown between 2.45 and 5.15 on Saturday afternoons.

However, those laws do not apply to Ireland.

As yet it is unknown how games will be broadcast in Ireland and not in the UK.

A possibility is that a specific Sky Sports Ireland channel will be set up.

From next season up to 159 live Premier League matches will be broadcast in Ireland.

Also a first – Sky will now also broadcast matches live on Friday nights.

Setanta currently show a number of live 3pm kick-offs during the season but will cease to do so at the end of this season as Sky take over.

RTÉ have also shown 3pm games live in the past.

Essentially, Sky and BT have swapped the 3pm and 5.30pm broadcast deals.

The move comes as a boost for Sky Sports however, after losing a number of rights packages to BT over the last year or so.

Last year BT shelled out to take the rights to the Champions League from Sky and now show every game live.

They also own the rights to the Saturday lunchtime kick-offs in the Premier League.

But from the beginning of next season Sky will now show live games on Friday nights, Saturday afternoons, Sunday afternoons and Monday nights.