Telecommunications company Eir has decided not to take part in the latest round of sports rights auctions and said it is currently exploring Eir Sports' options.

The company said that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on live sports across the world. 

It said that matches and competitions have been cancelled or postponed throughout the last year, disrupting the availability of live sports content.

The almost complete closure of licenced premises here in Ireland has fundamentally changed the commercial model for subscription based sports broadcasters, it added.

"As we navigate these challenges, Eir has made the decision not to partake in the latest rounds of sports rights auctions," the company said in a statement. 

"There is no immediate change to the content provided by Eir Sport. We are currently exploring options for the future of Eir Sport," it added.

Eir acquired Setanta Sports in 2015 and rebranded it to Eir Sport the following year. 

It secured the Irish rights to the Guinness Pro 14 Rugby in 2018, but that contract is running out this year. 

Eir Sport also had the rights to the men's Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the women's tournament in 2017. 

It also broadcast English and European soccer, League of Ireland soccer matches and some GAA games.

Last year Eir and Virgin Media, which had agreed to show each other's sports channels, had a row over payments. 

Virgin sued Eir in December alleging it was owed €2.5m of a total €6m three-year deal.