Q&A for eir Sport Broadcast Partnership

Adam Redmond
03 May 2018

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eir sport and the Guinness PRO14 have agreed a landmark partnership to broadcast every game for the next three years from the 2018/19 season. For all queries please read our comprehensive Q&A document below:

Players at the Eir Sport announcement

Question: How can I watch the Guinness PRO14 in the Republic of Ireland next season?
You will be able to watch every Guinness PRO14 game on eir sport in the Republic of Ireland from the 2018/19 season. eir have sub-licensed 21 games over the course of the regular 2018/19 season to TG4, the Free-To-Air National Irish language broadcaster.

Q: Which games will I be able to watch?
For the first time in Championship history you will be able to watch all 152 Guinness PRO14 games, including the Final Series, in the Republic of Ireland. This represents the latest achievement for the Guinness PRO14 after its successful expansion into South Africa and the success enjoyed by its clubs and unions on the European and international stages.

Q: Which games will be on which channels?
A: All the games will be shown between eir sport 1 and eir sport 2. The exact scheduling will be confirmed in due course but it will enable viewers to watch every game.

Q: What is eir sport?
eir sport’s channel offering is made up of the seven channel sports pack which includes eir sport 1, eir sport 2, BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport 3, BT Sport/ESPN & BoxNation

Q: How do I get eir sport 1 and 2?
A: eir sport is free to customers of eir broadband (currently €40 a month), eir Vision TV customers and eir mobile customers. It is also free to Sky TV customers who have eir broadband.

eir broadband customers also have access to the eir sport app, allowing them to watch all the eir sport and BT Sport channels on their smartphones or tablets. The eir sport app is castable from a smartphone or tablet straight to a TV.

eir sport is also available on a subscription basis on Sky TV and Vodafone TV platforms in the Republic of Ireland.

Q: How do I get TG4?
TG4 is the Free-To-Air National Irish language public service and is available on Saorview, Sky and Virgin Media.

Q: Will I need a set-top box or a satellite dish?
A: No. The eir sport app is castable from a smartphone or tablet straight to a TV (via Amazon Fire Stick, Chromecast but not Roku) and TG4 also has an online player.

Q: Can I get eir sport in Northern Ireland?
A: No, eir sport is only available in the Republic of Ireland.

Q: Can I get TG4 in Northern Ireland?
A: TG4 is available on Sky, Virgin Media and Freeview in Northern Ireland.

Q: What other benefits will there be?
A: Guinness PRO14 coverage on eir sport will be broadcast from a state-of-the-art studio which has recently been redeveloped. Using new faces and new technology eir sport will engage with Irish rugby supporters in fresh, new, innovative ways.

There will be Television Match Officials at every game which is a significant step forward for the Guinness PRO14 in order to raise standards on the field of play.

Q: Why are you moving to eir sport?
Increasing revenues allows PRO14 Rugby to increase distribution to its teams and to further invest in the Championship to ensure standards on and off the pitch continue to rise. The tendering process for these broadcast rights has proved that the Guinness PRO14 is a much sought-after tournament thanks to the strength of our existing clubs and the successful expansion into South Africa.

By better resourcing our clubs we can ensure they are sustainable and can better invest from the ground up to drive success, retain supporters and attract new fans of all ages.

Q: Why have you chosen eir sport?
A: eir sport is the primary home of the European Champions Cup, available via the eir sport pack from next season, the Leinster and Munster Senior Cups and will be the home of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. Ireland internationals, such as last summer’s tour of Japan and the historic win against the All Blacks in Chicago, could also only be watched on eir channels.

It is a mark of the value of the Guinness PRO14 that eir, among others, tendered so competitively for the rights.

Q: How will this help to further growing the tournament and engage with rugby supporters of all ages?
After the successful expansion into South Africa, the Guinness PRO14 is continuing to grow in strength with unprecedented interest leading to rising attendances, increased broadcast viewers and an upsurge in social media engagement. This new broadcast deal is the next stage in that growth process.

Free-To-Air coverage on TG4 is a vital component of these broadcast agreements to ensure all fans have access to every round of action in the Guinness PRO14. TG4 are long-standing broadcast partners of the Championship and have contributed greatly to its popularity and we are delighted that this relationship has been maintained.

Q: How does this directly help my club?
Our clubs will be directly benefit from the increased revenue this broadcast partnership will bring, in the same way that the expansion of the Guinness PRO14 to South Africa saw SuperSport join our family of broadcasters. The new revenues this generates allows our clubs to further invest in their playing squads and infrastructure.

Q: eir sport has a castable app. Does this move signal a desire to attract and retain a younger audience?
Not all broadcasters allow their customers to cast content but in the era of ‘digital first’ content it was important that rugby fans could access all 152 Guinness PRO14 games across all of their devices. Video views, social media engagement and the tournament’s digital audience have all grown significantly during the 2017/18 season and this move will ensure we are catering for fans who clearly have an appetite to get their PRO14 Rugby action across all manner of devices.

Q: I live in Italy and want to watch as many Guinness PRO14 matches as possible, how can I do this?
A: Eurosport are currently in discussions about strengthening their existing partnership with PRO14 Rugby in order to deliver greater coverage for rugby fans in Italy. We will provide news on this once all the arrangements are in place.

Q: I live in South Africa and want to watch as many Guinness PRO14 matches as possible, how can I do this?
A: SuperSport show all home games and away games involving South African teams as well as selected other games from the Championship.

Q: What are you planning in terms of the sale of international rights so that fans around the world can watch the Guinness PRO14?
Negotiations are currently taking place for the sale of international rights for the Championship. Our new broadcast deals in the UK and Ireland will allow for unparalleled distribution from a central hub. Not only will every game be broadcast live, but a bespoke international feed will ensure that all of the action from the Guinness PRO14 will be available around the world.

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