Ireland

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The British & Irish Lions touring side maintained the value of its media rights in the UK and Ireland in a deal with pay-television broadcaster Sky for next year’s tour of South Africa.

Spain’s LaLiga has for the first time agreed a revenue-sharing deal for its rights in the UK and Ireland for the 2019-22 cycle. LaLiga will receive a fee from pay-television broadcaster Premier Sports, but the two parties will also share revenues in both territories from LaLiga’s dedicated channel, LaLigaTV, SportBusiness Media understands.

UK pay-television broadcaster Sky’s extension of its rights deal for The Open is an attempt to shore up its dominant position in golf in the UK and Ireland against the threat of GolfTV, the dedicated channel run by the Discovery-PGA Tour joint venture, SportBusiness Media understands.

Match-choice restrictions placed by Spain’s LaLiga on the free-to-air package in its UK and Ireland rights tenders for the 2019-22 cycle may limit interest from broadcasters, according to industry experts spoken to by SportBusiness Media.

Pay-television broadcaster BT Sport took advantage of Sky’s long-running concerns over wrestling body WWE’s OTT service to grab WWE rights in the UK and Ireland from its rival at a steep discount, SportBusiness Media understands.

Pay-television broadcaster Premier Sports has acquired a package of rights in Ireland to the new Autumn Nations Cup rugby union tournament

Electric off-road motorsport series Extreme E has agreed a rights deal in Ireland with Virgin Media Television. The agreement comprises live and highlights rights as the new series begins in 2021

European football’s governing body, Uefa, has secured an order from the Irish High Court that requires a series of internet service providers in the country to block access to IP addresses of servers w…

Jonathan Hill, the former agency executive and ex-commercial director at the Football Association, has been named as the new chief executive of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI)

Features

Pay-television broadcaster Sky has paid an increase of more than 130 per cent to claim NBA rights in the UK and Ireland. Sky has struck a four-season deal, from 2018-19 to 2021-22, worth about $3

The European Tour agreed new deals with Sky in the UK and Ireland as well as in Germany, Austria and Switzerland last month, as a multi-territory agreement with Discovery nears completion.

Eleven Sports has acquired exclusive rights to the Ultimate Fighting Championship in the UK and Ireland for the next three years, paying a lower minimum guarantee than its predecessor BT

The Premier League’s 20 clubs are unconcerned about the small drop in the value of their domestic live rights in the next cycle, following deals this month with BT and Amazon that brought the protracted sales process to a close.

Strong competition in Ireland has helped Uefa seal a big increase for its club competition rights, as commercial broadcaster TV3 fell just short in its attempt to acquire all the rights on offer.

The Pro14 cross-border rugby union league will almost double the value of its UK and Ireland media rights once it completes its remaining deals for 2018-19 onward.

Eleven Sports’ surprise entrance into the UK sports-rights market will have been welcomed by rights-holders around the world.

Telco BT will pay an increase of about 140 per cent to keep hold of exclusive MotoGP media rights in the UK and Ireland.

The Irish Rugby Football Union roughly doubled the value of domestic rights to Ireland autumn internationals in a deal with public-service broadcaster RTÉ, and is still to sell rights in the UK.

Uefa secured increases for various national-team media rights in recent deals covering France, Ireland and Romania.

The expansion of the cross-border Pro12 rugby union competition, following the addition of two South African teams this week, has been driven by three factors: the desire to improve the competitiveness of the league, the aim of bringing its media-rights revenues closer into line with its rivals, and the availability of the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings.

Ireland’s Gaelic Athletic Association has enjoyed steady growth in commercial revenues over the last five years and is set to do so until mid-2022.

Strong competition drove up the value of rights to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Ireland this week, despite a much worse time zone than in 2015.

John Manning, research analyst for SportBusiness Intelligence, examines television audiences for this year’s Six Nations Championship

Telco Altice last week blindsided French broadcasters to acquire Premier League rights in the country with a knockout first-round bid.

Aggressive bidding from free-to-air broadcasters in Ireland helped the Six Nations Committee double its media rights fee in the territory last week.

Racecourse Media Group’s betting rights deal with Satellite Information Services will provide UK racecourses with a significant uplift in rights fees, while also ensuring more of its revenues will be distributed directly to the racecourses.

The coming months will be critical to the fortunes of UK horse racing. Racecourse Media Group, which distributes media rights on behalf of 34 UK racecourses, will agree two major deals, while in the background proposed legislation looks set to shake up the finances of the sport.

Boxing promoter Matchroom Sport is thought to have secured a small increase in the value of its rights in last week’s renewal with UK pay-television broadcaster Sky.