Sky and BT announced on Wednesday morning that they have reached an agreement which will see Sky become BT's "exclusive distribution partner in Ireland".
It is the extension of a deal which was previously announced in the UK in December. It's said that the new partnership will come into effect from summer 2019.
The new deal means that Sky Sports and BT Sport will be available through a single Sky TV subscription. It will be the first time that Sky is able to provide BT Sport to its customers as part of a Sky bundle or on a standalone basis.
In Ireland, BT Sport is currently available on the eir Sport Pack, a grouping of channels with includes two eir Sport channels, the four BT Sport channels and BoxNation. It has been available, for free, to eir broadband and mobile customers.
Exactly where the new deal will leave eir Sport Pack subscribers, come next summer, is uncertain. Asked how the new deal between Sky and BT would affect their current offering, eir Sport told Balls in a statement:
We are aware of today’s announcement from Sky and BT and from an eir Sport perspective, there is no immediate change for our valued customers and the BT Sport channels remain part of the eir sport pack for the foreseeable future.
eir Sport is in constant dialogue with rights holders and will continue to invest in delivering the very best in sports content to our customers in the 2018/19 season and beyond.
Balls has also been told that distribution plans have yet to be decided and that Sky is open to discussions with a range of platforms - including eir and Virgin Media - regarding the BT channels. A decision will likely be made by Sky next year regarding the distribution of the BT Sport channels.
Picture credit: Sportsfile