Posted August 29, 2013

Irish fan purchases TV rights in Australia to World Cup qualifiers

Soccer
A Sydney man has purchased the broadcast rights in Australia to several World Cup qualifiers after being frustrated that he could only listen to them on Internet radio. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

A Sydney man has purchased the broadcast rights in Australia to Ireland and England’s World Cup qualifiers after being frustrated that he could only listen to games on Internet radio. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

A Sydney man has extended the mortgage of his new home to purchase the television rights in Australia for the World Cup qualifiers, according to a report Thursday from the Associated Press. 

David Feeney, a fan of Ireland’s soccer team, said he has purchased the broadcast rights in Australia for Ireland’s World Cup qualifier Sept. 6 vs. Sweden and England’s match against Ukraine on Sept. 10. The games will be televised on his “Channel 33″ in sports bars in Sydney as well as a casino and it will also be shown at a venue in Melbourne.

According to the report, Feeney, an IT director, is also negotiating to show the games in New Zealand and in a number of Pacific islands. His talks are between a German television rights company, which owns the overseas rights to the World Cup qualifiers, and an Australian satellite broadcaster. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Feeney said his first offer to the German company was rejected.

Feeney said he made the decision after being frustrated in March that he had to listen to an exciting game between Ireland and Austria on Internet radio:

“I thought then, that was it, there is no way I shouldn’t be watching this. So I’m going to try to buy the television rights.”

He added that his wife wasn’t happy about the idea, but depending on how this deal works out, he said it could turn into more purchases of broadcasts rights in the future:

“Both our names are on the mortgage, and when I told her about the idea, I don’t think she was too crazy about it. But if it works out, I’m hoping we can do more in the future.”

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