BSkyB and BT snap up Premier League rights in Ireland

UK pay-television broadcasters BSkyB and BT have acquired rights for the English Premier League in the Republic of Ireland.

The deals will run for three seasons, from 2013-14 to 2015-16, and cover all audiovisual platforms.

Sky acquired five packages of rights, totalling 116 matches per season, while BT acquired two packages of rights, totalling 38 matches. The deals correspond to the rights agreements secured by the two broadcasters in the UK for the same period.

Sky’s live rights include Sunday afternoon double-headers and Monday night matches, while the broadcaster also acquired rights for Saturday early evening matches and some Sunday lunchtime games.

BT’s packages include rights for 28 Saturday lunchtime games and 10 matches taking place on bank holidays or midweek evenings. Eighteen of BT’s matches will be ‘first pick’ games.

“These rights mean that Sky Sports remains the home of the Premier League in Ireland,” Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis said. “With more live matches than ever before, our Irish viewers can enjoy an unrivalled choice of the biggest and best games across Saturday evenings, Sunday afternoons and Monday nights.”

Marc Watson, chief executive of television for BT, added: “We are delighted that we’ll be able to offer viewers in the Republic of Ireland the same fantastic live games from the English Premier League that we’ll be offering in the UK.”