Irish Channels acquired by Major Media Companies
Two of Ireland’s major television channels have been acquired by two separate media companies, with Virgin Media Ireland taking on TV3 and telecoms group eir buying Setanta Sports.
TV3 had been bought by Liberty Global, Virgin Media’s parent group, in July for €87 million (£60m), having been put up for sale by British private equity group Doughty Hanson, who paid €265 million (£190m) for it in 2006.
The value of eir’s deal, the company have recently rebranded from Eircom, has not been disclosed but will see them take on their group of channels which also includes the Irish rights to BT Sport.
Eir launched a TV package in 2013, now with approximately 43,000 customers, but this is their first move in expanding its own content offering. Eir CEO Richard Moat said:
“We will now offer our customers the widest range and highest calibre of sports content in Ireland.
“Buying Setanta Sports Ireland is a game changer for eir and is our largest acquisition since we purchased Meteor in 2005.”
In the Virgin Media deal it was also announced that TV3 CEO, David McRedmond is to leave the station by the end of 2015.
“While I am sorry to lose David from TV3 he leaves with our best wishes,” Tony Hanway, CEO of Virgin Media Ireland said.
“Under his leadership TV3 has transformed the Irish broadcasting landscape, introducing real competition, innovating with high quality Irish programming and delivering profitable growth.”