BT Sport have moved to assure English Premier League fans in Ireland that they will have access to the company's 38 live league matches next season.
The company told RTÉ Sport today: "In the Republic of Ireland, there are two main platforms for Pay TV - Sky and UPC.
"The BT Sport team is in discussions with a number of companies to make BT Sport available on these platforms and are fully confident that BT Sport will be available in the Republic of Ireland before soccer season begins."
BT has committed £246m a year to secure the UK and Ireland rights to show 38 live Premier League matches per season, and have signed up stars such as Michael Owen, Steve McManaman and Rio Ferdinand to lead its coverage.
They have also secured rights to live FA Cup, Scottish Premier League, Europa League, WTA women’s tennis, UFC and Aviva Premiership rugby in a bid to take on Sky.
BT Sport will be launched on 1 August and will consist of three channels, BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN.
The channels will be available free to BT broadband customers in the UK, and will be available as a subscription channel to UK Sky customers who do not have a BT broadband subscription.
The picture is not as clear in the Republic of Ireland, although BT Ireland chief executive Colm O’Neill is confident that a deal will be reached before the new season starts.
“Users in Northern Ireland will benefit from the traditional BT UK product set, and if they are a BT broadband customer they will get the BT Sport channels for free”, O’Neill explained.
“In the Republic of Ireland there are two major platforms that deliver television, Sky and UPC.
"We are in discussion with a number of wholesale operators who might provide service across those platforms, and I am confident that our TV team will have done a deal with somebody to make those channels available in the Republic of Ireland before the Premier League starts in August.”
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