Frustrated by a lack of live TV coverage, an Irish football fan has bought the Australian TV rights for the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualifier against Sweden to ensure that Irish Down Under don’t miss the crunch clash.
David Feeney said that he was so frustrated at not being able to watch his team on television that he decided to buy the rights himself.
Originally from Dublin, Feeney contacted a friend involved in broadcasting in Ireland before making a bid to Kentaro, the German media company that owned the broadcast rights.
“They said my bid was too low, but that it was close then I raised bid and they said okay,” says Feeney, who has partnered with a horse-racing channel to show the match via a closed-circuit system at a number of venues across Australia.
Feeney has also secured England’s qualifier away to Ukraine, and having used his home as security to borrow the money to buy the rights – costing “in the tens of thousands of dollars,” he said – Feeney admitted the hardest person to convince in the whole process had been his wife.
“She was hardest to convince alright, but we have an agreement that if it (the venture) makes any money, she gets to keep it!” he said.