At £6million the Belfast Telegraph seem to have underestimated the deal between Sky Sports and the IFA, it does dwarf the previous £2.5million the BBC paid to cover the Euro 2008 qualifiers, but IFA president Jim Boyce has claimed the new deal is worth five times that [£2.5million] amount. BBC Northern Ireland’s head of sport, Mike Edgar gave his reaction here
“We understand that football is now big business and that sports rights are in an increasingly competitive territory, but we are disappointed at the timing of this announcement, given that we were due to meet with the IFA’s representative next week when the specifics of a formal offer were due to have been discussed.”
It’s doubtful that the BBC could have matched Sky Sports in a bidding war.. and it’s equally doubtful that any resultant deal would represent value for money.
ANYhoo.. According to the IFA statement
The new live broadcast deal includes:
FULL INTERNATIONALS: All home matches for four years from May 2008, including qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup Finals and 2012 European Championship Finals, plus friendly matches – exclusively live on Sky Sports.
UNDER-21 INTERNATIONALS: At least two U-21 matches each season for four years, from the start of 2008-09 until the close of 2011-12 – exclusively live on Sky Sports.
PREMIER LEAGUE: Five live fixtures each season from the Carnegie Premier League for five years, starting this August and running until the end of 2011-2012.