Eir enters the content business with Setanta Sports purchase

The company has exclusive rights to key European soccer and rugby fixtures

Eir enters the content business with Setanta Sports purchase

Eir, Facebook

Eir, Ireland's biggest telecoms group, has agreed to acquire Setanta Sports Ireland - the value of the deal has not been disclosed. Setanta is believed to be worth close to €20m.

It will include the Irish TV rights for BT Sport - the move pits it against Sky and Virgin Media as companies with interests in both internet services and cable television in Ireland.

“Buying Setanta Sports Ireland is a game changer for Eir and is our largest acquisition since we purchased Meteor in 2005,” Richard Moat, CEO of Eir said commenting on the deal.

The company adds that this will allow Eir to "significantly expand" its TV offerings, and to "further enhance the range of propositions on offer to customers."

Setanta Sports was launched in Ireland in 2004, it offers two sports channels and is based in central Dublin.

As well as showing live Barclays Premier League matches, it also has exclusive rights to all UEFA Champions League games and Rugby Champions Cup fixtures.

Setanta has annual revenues of close to €30m - meanwhile the newly-rebranded Eir recently posted annual growth of 4% and revenue of €325m.

The acquisition is subject to approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.