The dispute between two of Ireland's biggest telecommunications companies rumbles on this morning, and Irish sports fan are the worse for it. Last night, Virgin Media Sports pulled the plug on its coverage of Atletico Madrid v RB Leipzig for eir Sport viewers nineteen minutes into the game, saying eir had not paid its 'contract distribution license fee'.
We have suspended our supply of Virgin Media Sport and Virgin Media Sport Extra to eir Sport because, eir has failed to pay the contracted distribution licence fee.
Please refer to eir's technical support line: 1890 260 260, or contact @eircare.
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) August 13, 2020
In a counter-statement, Eir said:
"In common with other live entertainment businesses operating through this pandemic, Eir Sports can only pay for the sports events that actually take place.”
“We have consistently offered fair terms to each of our live sports content providers to reflect the reduced timetable, however, Virgin Media has not agreed to updated terms and has taken the unreasonable step of unilaterally withholding their feed from Virgin Media Sports viewers on the Eir network.”
As of writing this morning, there is no sign of the dispute being resolved. eir's customer care team confirmed to subscribers that the dispute is still on-going.
Virgin media has not agreed to updated terms and has taken the unreasonable step of unilaterally with holding their feed from Virgin Media sports viewers on the Eir network.
I do apologies.
— eirCare (@eircare) August 14, 2020
The Irish Independent reported last night that the disputed figure is in the region of "seven-figure sums".
Tonight's Champions League quarterfinal between Bayern Munich and Barcelona will be aired on RTÉ as well Virgin Media Sport. However, tomorrow's match between Man City and Lyon is exclusive to Virgin Media Sport in Ireland.
Virgin Media Sport is one of the big selling points for subscribers to eir Sport. As of writing, eir sport still promote Virgin Media Sport's football coverage on the 'football' area of their website.
Virgin Media Sport's Festival of Football continues tonight.