Television, phone, and broadband provider Virgin Media has announced that from August it will no longer broadcast the BT sports or Eir sports channels to its customers, writes Joe Leogue.
The move comes less than a fortnight after Eir announced it would make eir Sport — formally Setanta — and BT Sport channels free for all its broadband customers.
“We can confirm that we will be dropping eir Sport at the end of this month,” a spokesperson confirmed yesterday.
“The content has been greatly reduced making the economics of offering the pack to our customers unsustainable. We have made every effort to agree commercial terms with eir Sports but unfortunately we were not successful,” she said.
The spokesperson said that Virgin is currently contacting its customers now to inform them about this decision and will be communicating a new content deal with them today.
The spokesperson also said that the change in channels does not constitute a change in contract on Virgin’s part. This means that those in contract with Virgin who wish to switch provider as a result of the loss of the sports channels will be liable for a €200 cancellation fee.
“It doesn’t constitute a breach of contract because it is a separate pack, therefore cancellation fee does not apply. If a customer wants to cancel their full account, depending on whether in contract or not, a cancellation fee may apply,” she said.
The Eir sport pack, available free to its broadband customers, consists of six channels — eir Sport 1 and eir Sport 2; BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport Europe, and BT Sport ESPN.
Eir said the channels’ coverage will include football from the League of Ireland, English Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League, and top flight football from Germany, Italy and France, as well as European Rugby Champions Cup, Aviva Premiership Rugby, UFC, Formula One, and Allianz Leagues GAA.
Last week Virgin Media announced it has entered into an agreement with ITV plc to buy UTV Ireland for €10m.
Virgin Media was previously known as UPC prior to a rebranding last September.
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