Each Wednesday we take a look at the world of the Irish and international sports media, the stories, the numbers and the organisations that are, more than ever before, our window on the world of sport…



Vodafone will once more me the sponsor of Virgin Media’s full live coverage of the Guinness Six Nations getting underway this weekend.

The sponsorship deal, brokered by Carat, will see Vodafone once again appear with stings in and out of the coverage as well as a takeover of Virgin’s digital assets around the tournament.

“While we can’t cheer the team on in the stadiums, our aim will be to ensure fans and players remain connected through the Vodafone network and #TeamOfUs,” said Vodafone Head of Sponsorship and Business Brand, Gerry Nixon.

Joe Molloy will be in the chair for this fourth and final year of the current Virgin Media deal. He will be joined by Ronan O’Gara, Matt Williams, Shane Horgan and Alan Quinlan in-studio and by Dave McIntyre on commentary.

Vodafone is also backing Off The Ball’s coverage throughout the tournament.


Channel 4 in Britain has signed up non-exclusive rights to England’s cricket tour of India starting this weekend.

It will take a global feed from rights holder Star but will have its own analyst team providing a more local feel to the coverage that will be broadcast across Britain and Ireland.

Sky and BT Sport are understood to have passed on bidding for exclusive rights and the matches will also be shown with Hindi language broadcast via Star’s own streaming service.

The deal marks a return of top-class cricket to Channel 4 for the first time since 2005 when a still record audience of 7.4 million tuned in to watch England against Australia.

It also showed the Cricket World Cup Final of 2019 as a once-off, alongside the coverage provided then by Sky.



Sky Sports has extended its partnership with England Netball and will now show every match from the 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague.

“Sky Sports has been a long-term partner of netball since 2006,” said Sky Sports Managing Director, Rob Webster.

“We are delighted to be expanding upon our existing deal to bring the thrill of the game to our audiences for years to come.”

“Popularity for the sport has increased in recent years as viewing figures saw 550,000 people tune in to watch England’s Vitality Roses in 2019’s thrilling Netball World Cup semi-final.”

Netball has gained real traction in Northern Ireland.


The SuperBowl takes place in Tampa on Sunday, February 7th but it will do so without some of the biggest names in the marketing game as brands shift their priorities in this strangest of years.

Each of Budweiser, Hyundai and Coca Cola have revealed they will not be producing fresh advertising for this year, as has been traditionally the case.

The biggest game and TV event of the year is broadcast between the different stations on a cyclical basis and this year it is the turn of CBS.

The cost of a thirty-second spot for this year’s game has been set at $5.5 million, down slightly on the high water mark of $5.6 million achieved last year.


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