RTÉ Sport has revealed details of its domestic soccer coverage for the coming season, which includes the biggest number of live games by a single broadcaster in the history of the domestic game.
RTÉ Television will broadcast a record 24 live games from the Airtricity League and FAI Cup in 2012.
The 24 live games are an increase from 19 games last season.
The action begins on Friday 2 March as Drogheda United play host to title holders Shamrock Rovers at 7.00pm on RTÉ Two, with further upcoming live fixtures featuring Cork City, Bohemians and St Patrick’s Athletic.
RTÉ Sport’s dedicated Irish soccer magazine programme MNS will be returning to screens on Monday 5 March with the first of 35 programmes featuring Irish soccer at every level, from International, national, women’s and grassroots to interviews with Irish players abroad.
Con Murphy will present the best analysis and discussion from the panel, which this year includes new signings in the form of Derry City all-time top goalscorer Liam Coyle and League of Ireland legend Pete Mahon.
MNS will continue to offer comprehensive coverage of league and cup games every Monday at 7pm and online at RTÉ.ie.
The MNS website had over 434,000 page impressions from fans all over the world last season, in addition to its popular following on Facebook and Twitter.
RTÉ.ie will launch a live online text commentary for the Airtricity Premier Division on Friday nights this season for the first time.
There will be reporters at every top-flight game relaying all the action as it happens with interaction from users via email and Twitter.
Former Premier Division winner Alan Cawley will pen a weekly blog on all the happenings in the league on RTÉ.ie/sport and give his expert opinion on matters on and off the field.
Tune in to Sport At Seven, Saturday Sport and Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 for the latest news, reports and interviews from the Airtricity League and FAI Cup along with all the latest updates on Irish clubs in Europe.
In addition, Sunday Sport carries the Bus Eireann Women's National League results each week.
Coverage of the season culminates with full commentary of the FAI Cup final in November.
Listeners can tune in to RTÉ Radio 1 on 88-90fm, catch up on Radio 1 Extra on DAB and online, and listen via the RTÉ Radio Player online and on your mobile device.
RTÉ Group Head of Sport Ryle Nugent confirmed the broadcaster’s commitment to the domestic game, saying: "We are committed to bringing Irish soccer to the fans and are proud to be increasing our live coverage of games again this year to a record level.
“A peak of 341,000 viewers tuned in to our Cup final coverage last year demonstrating the increasing interest and appeal of the sport.
“2012 looks set to be a great year for Irish soccer with a record number of Airtricity League and FAI Cup games, along with full coverage of Euro 2012 all free-to-air on RTÉ.”
Confirmed RTÉ Two live broadcasts include:
2 March: Drogheda United v Shamrock Rovers live from Hunk Dory Park at 7.00pm on RTÉ Two
16 March: Cork City v Shamrock Rovers live from Turners Cross at 7.00pm on RTÉ Two
25 March: Bohemians v St Patrick's Athletic live from Dalymount Park at 3:45pm on RTÉ Two
30 March: Shamrock Rovers v Bohemians live from Tallaght Stadium at 7.00pm on RTÉ Two
6 April: St Patrick's Athletic v Shamrock Rovers live from Richmond Park at 7.00pm on RTÉ Two