Blow for free-to-air viewers as eirSport secure 2019 Rugby World Cup
Just 13 fixtures including Ireland’s pool games will have to be on free-to-air television
Eir Sport have won the rights to the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Getty
eir Sport, the rebranded name for Setanta Sports, have secured the Republic of Ireland rights to broadcast the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
As part of this deal agreed with World Rugby, 13 of the 48 matches will be made available for a free-to-air broadcaster. TV3, TG4 and RTÉ are all expected to compete for these rights, which will include Ireland’s Pool matches and every knockout game.
TV3 won the exclusive rights for the 2015 World Cup with Setanta broadcasting all 48 games live at previous tournaments in 2007 and 2011.
“We are very thankful to World Rugby for entrusting us with these rights along with the under-20s championship, the woman’s World Cup and Sevens rights,” said eir Sport chief executive Mickey O’Rourke.
“It’s a fantastic way to launch the new eir Sport brand.”
eir, having purchased Setanta Sports Ireland Ltd in December 2015, also announced their new sports pack which includes eir Sport 1 and eir Sport 2 along with BT Sport, BT Sport 2, BT Sport Europe and BT Sport ESPN.
Next year’s woman’s rugby world cup, taking place in Dublin and Belfast, will be televised by eir Sport. They also intend to “show more live TV Paralympics coverage than any other Irish broadcaster at the Rio Olympics.”