By Tom Degun

Setaanta TV_deal_April_29April 29 - Setanta Sports Ireland has secured the right to broadcast the London 2012 Paralympic Games for the first time and will do so on a freeview basis.

The deal means that the coverage on the Setanta Ireland satellite channel will be unencrypted so that Sky viewers will have free access to the channel whether they are a Setanta subscriber or not.

This combined with the Setanta Ireland channel being free on UPC (cable) and the Setanta player being available in all eircom broadband homes means that approximately 1.3 million households will be able to view the Paralympic Games across the country.

It was also revealed that the coverage will be sponsored by Allianz, an International Partner of International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

"We are delighted to be broadcasting the games on a freeview basis," said Brian Quinn marketing director of Setanta Sports.

"This means that the majority of Irish households will be able to follow the Irish performances.

"I would like to pay tribute to Allianz for their support.

"They are not simply a sponsor of our coverage; they have played a far bigger role than that.

"Without them live Paralympics TV coverage would not be seen in Ireland.

"We appreciate their vision and are very thankful to have the opportunity to bring live coverage to the friends, families and fans of Irish Paralympians."

The announcement comes after London 2012 announced a record breaking collection of Rights Holding Broadcasters to screen the Paralympics across the globe – with an unprecedented £10 million ($16 million/€12 million) in revenue set to be raked in from the Games.

"For the first time ever Irish audiences will witness the achievements of Team Ireland as they happen, which for Allianz, as a long-time partner of the Paralympic Movement, was seen as a fundamental need in the Irish market," said Brendan Murphy, the chief executive of Allianz Ireland.

"By supporting Paralympics Ireland and Irish athletes, Allianz supports their quest for medals but also, through our association with Setanta, to drive awareness of the Paralympic movement and provide live, real time access to all that is achieved."

Liam Harbison, the chief executive of Paralympics Ireland and Chef de Mission of the 2012 Irish Paralympic team, welcomed the news.

"This is a momentous announcement for Irish Paralympic sport," he said.

"The Irish team are on the cusp of great success at London 2012 and we're thrilled that the support of Setanta and Allianz will allow the Irish public to view, admire and be inspired by the achievements of Ireland's elite Paralympians.

"Paralympic sport at the top level is exciting, gripping and ferociously competitive – we look forward to Setanta bringing this to Irish sports fans."

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