Virgin Media’s sports strategy, Tony O’Reilly jnr on renewable energy, and Digicel’s bonds

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from ‘The Irish Times’ business desk

Graeme Souness, who will front Virgin Media’s coverage of the Uefa Champions League and Europa League from September. Photograph: Brian McEvoy

Graeme Souness, who will front Virgin Media’s coverage of the Uefa Champions League and Europa League from September. Photograph: Brian McEvoy

 

Virgin Media will provide its new sports channel for free to its own TV customers but others will have to pay up to ¤20 a month if they want access to all Uefa Champions League and Europa League matches from September. Ciarán Hancock has details of the pricing structure as Virgin Media takes the battle to Sky for TV subscribers.

Better known for its oil exploration activities off the coast of Ireland, Providence Resources will consider pivoting into renewables, its chief executive Tony O’Reilly jnr has told Mark Paul in a wide ranging interview.

Buyers of bonds that Denis O’Brien’s Digicel must redeem in two years’ time were demanding a record market interest rate of up to 30 per cent this week, amid mounting concerns over the company’s ability to refinance the debt in the near term.

Airbnb’s head of policy wants the Government to introduce regulations for the short-term letting market to help deal with the rental crisis in Dublin. Ciara O’Brien met Chris Lehane

The new French owners of Eir are set to move the group’s corporate headquarters from the Heuston South Quarter to the out-of-town Citywest Business Campus in a bid to cut its rent bill by more than €10 million a year. Joe Brennan reports

In our big read, Irish SMEs tell Mark Hilliard how commercial rates, rising insurance premiums and difficulties with banking services are hobbling their businesses.

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