The Irish Football Association has secured a deal to broadcast 30 live streamed matches on BBC Sport NI as well as eight live TV games.

Kicking off with Glentoran vs Coleraine on October 16, the five-year collaboration promises Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Irish Cup and Danske Bank Premiership action each season.

Patrick Nelson, Irish FA Chief Executive, commented: “We have worked closely with our partners at the BBC on an innovative deal which will provide football fans even greater access. 

“It allows us all to help grow the game in Northern Ireland and represents another step forward for the journey of the Irish Cup, our premier competition.”

The new agreement will also see BBC Sport NI continue to broadcast the Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Irish Cup Final live, and a tie from every round of the competition with matches available on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport NI website.

Neil Brittain, Executive Editor BBC Sport NI, said: “The NIFL Premiership continues to go from strength to strength and we are proud to be a broadcast partner of the league. 

“Record numbers of people came to the BBC to watch matches last year and it is great to have this new contract in place so that we can continue to offer comprehensive coverage for the next five seasons.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in the absence of fans at stadiums, Sport NI live streamed NIFL Premiership matches for the first time in 2020, and the company explained that last season there were over one million requests for BBC NI’s live streaming and highlights of the NIFL Premiership on BBC iPlayer. 

Additionally, contributing to the ‘recent growth’ of the Premiership, there were more than 1.5 million page views of live NIFL Premiership content on the BBC Sport NI website.

“We also know how the Irish Cup is hugely popular with football fans with more and more supporters than ever before tuning in to watch over the last two seasons,” added Brittain.

“I am pleased therefore that we have been able to extend our coverage to include live-streaming of every round of the competition as well as continuing to show the final live on TV every year until 2026.”

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