104 matches in the Champions League for the next three years will be available in Ireland exclusively via streaming on the LiveScore app.
The deal replaces that which was held by Virgin Media in the most recent cycle of rights and will be another major step in the shift towards streaming as the principal way of delivering sports content.
It was announced last week that RTÉ had retained the rights to Tuesday night matches and the Final. This will be 33 matches, with the rest now available only through LiveScore.
The orange square will be a familiar piece of real estate on most sports fans mobile phones and has been the go-to place to watch Serie A matches here in the past season.
It is free to use and funded by in-app advertising, the majority of which is for online betting services.
This step towards exclusive live coverage for Ireland of the Champions League is a major step up but it did sign Christiano Ronaldo as its global ambassador last year so the intent was clearly there.
We might imagine that one of his sponsor commitments will revolve around the visit of Portugal in the World Cup qualification campaign later this year.
All the games will be free to air and there will be an ability to ‘cast’ the coverage to smart TV’s.
It will though be another blow to the pub trade with the concept of going out to watch a game with a group of friends now more complicated.
There are no details yet of what level of ‘shoulder’ coverage and analysis will be available or of what commentary teams will be brought in.
This is not a first for Livescore though. Apart from rights to Serie A and other top European Leagues, they are also the exclusive rights holders for 31 games of the English Premier League in the Nigerian market.
“We are extremely excited to announce this significant new rights deal, which will provide fully free-to-air live coverage of every single UEFA Champions League match to football fans in Ireland,” said Ric Leask, Marketing Director at LiveScore.
“We look forward to being there for every step of the season, as we bring our users closer to the action with our full offering of live-streamed matches and supporting content.”
This is an exciting development in the way in which media and sport are moving. It will now form a key element of the Sport for Business Live Streaming 2021 Event which takes place on Thursday morning, June 24th.
We will have more on this breaking story as it develops.
UEFA are among more than 250+ members of the Sport for Business network of sporting and business organisations working together across a number of key areas.
Sport for Business Partners