The partnership between Sky Ireland and Virgin media that was signed back in May has delivered another boost to sports fans with the announcement yesterday that Virgin Media is giving new and existing customers the chance to score a hat-trick of Sky Sports, BT Sport and Premier Sports, all for half price for 6 months.

The two media companies signed a long-term partnership earlier this year which guarantees the carriage of all Virgin media channels and on-demand content on the Sky platform and this new offer highlights that there is a reciprocal element to the carriage deal.

The timing of the offer in the week when the Premier League starts back and ahead of the new rugby season where BT Sport and Premier Sports, in particular, remain strong is a boost for fans whose main gripe with the fractured delivery of sporting rights would generally be the ease of access.

The TV companies are of course content creators themselves and pay substantial rights fees but they are also in the carriage business and having each others services available on as great a number of TVs and other devices is a winner for both in terms of ad revenue, sponsorship and subscription income that will allow them to continue to pitch at the top level.

In attendance at the Virgin Media launch of Sports Extra including BT Sport and Premier Sports at Virgin Media Offices in Dublin yesterday were Virgin Media analyst Damien Delaney and Virgin Media Ireland vice president of commercial Paul Higgins.

Over the coming weeks, we will have a special guide on how to watch all of the major sporting events coming up through the autumn and winter.