Irish football fans can happily troll their English counterparts with knowledge that they can legally watch 3pm kick off Saturday games as of next season.
Sky Sports has bagged broadcast rights to a selection of Premier League games that are ringfenced from broadcast in the UK, but are freely shown elsewhere in Europe.
This extra package of games, sold by the Premier League in Ireland (but not in the UK) includes one Saturday 3pm kick off each week.
Related: How can I watch Sky Sports and How to get Sky Sports and BT Sport on the cheapAs The Irish Times, which broke this story notes: “The move is a significant one for Sky as blackout laws in the UK mean that no live football can be shown between 2.45 and 5.15 on Saturday afternoons. However, those laws do not apply to Ireland.”
Sky recently signed a deal with the Premier League which will see near-live highlights of these blacked out games available on Sky Sports channels and via Sky On Demand in the UK.
The 3pm ringfence was introduced back in the 1960s in a bit protect match attendance and support local fans. Since then, season ticket prices for Premier League teams, most notably Arsenal, have soared.
Telecoms and media regulator Ofcom is currently reviewing this arrangement, which could one day see the 3pm kick off games finally coming to UK screens.
Until then, fans who want to be able to legally watch these games could head over to Belfast to watch 12pm kick off games on BT Sport before getting a cab south of the border and rocking into the nearest Irish pub with a Sky Sports licence.