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RTÉ announces end of Premier League coverage

Updated: Thursday, 13 Jun 2013 15:24 | Comments

RTÉ announces end of Premier League coverage

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RTÉ Sport has confirmed that it will no longer have the rights to television coverage of the Premier League.

As a result, the season just ended marks the end of RTÉ’s Premier Soccer Saturday & Sunday programmes.

A statement from RTÉ Sport said: "In a period of significant financial pressure RTÉ Sport, along with all other areas of the organisation, has been required to deliver significant production and personnel efficiencies. 

"As part of an organisation-wide cost cutting initiative RTÉ’s Director General has publicly stated that the cost of sports rights must be reduced by 25% from 2011 levels by 2015.

"Many efficiencies have already been delivered while continuing to deliver quality programming with significantly less resources. However, it has not been possible to manage the financial deficit without an impact on output."

RTÉ’s Group Head of Sport Ryle Nugent said that national teams and games will remain the priority of the broadcaster.

He said: "This is a hard choice to make. The relationship with the Premier League has provided us with programming that has been the backbone of our output for many years and there is a real affinity with the output.

"However, RTÉ TV Sport has had to adjust its commitments in line with every other area of the organisation.

"My strategy has been, and will continue to be, the protection of our national teams and national games programming such as GAA, Horse Racing, the Airtricity League and so on.

"Despite the difficult news today, we are still in an extremely good place with regard to our TV sports output by comparison to any public service broadcaster in Europe."

Nugent added: "We have been very successful in our rights negotiations in recent times, despite extremely tough targets, with new contracts delivered for television in soccer output with the European and World Cup qualifiers, home and away, until 2018 and the World Cup Finals of 2014, 2018 and 2022.

"In rugby we have secured the national teams matches in the 6 Nations and Autumn Internationals until the end of 2017.

"This summer we will begin the process of renegotiating with the GAA and I hope to have definitive news on the Summer Olympics in 2016 in the coming weeks.”

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