On-trade

Sky Sports discounts must be made available to pubs – VFI

Politicians questioning the appropriateness of pubs as a place for families to watch live sport on TV as opposed to sports clubs have been criticised by the Vintners Federation of Ireland.

“The Irish pub is a safe place to watch a match live,” stated the VFI recently, expressing its disappointment at such statements, “During daytime hours many pubs welcome and accommodate families who wish to watch a big sporting occasion with friends and neighbours and enjoy a friendly atmosphere.

“Unhelpful comments by misguided politicians and others show how little some of them know about pubs. The pub is a controlled, safe and regulated environment offering excellent food, value and service for all ages.”

In addition, the VFI wishes to put on the record its concerns about any potential exclusive offers by Sky Sports to GAA clubs.

“The Federation feels strongly that any discounts on pay-per-view TV need to be offered to all licensed premises and not just sports clubs,” it stated, “Sky Sports should not discriminate against pubs, many of whom act as de facto club houses for GAA clubs throughout towns and cities in Ireland and who do not have a clubhouse or facility to socialise in after a match.”

Publicans can pay up to €1,000 per month and these costs can strangle a small business, stated the Federation.
“It’s unfair and illogical to offer a licensed premises in a town a discount and neglect a competitor down the road,” it concluded.
The VFI represents over 4,200 pubs outside Dublin who employ an estimated 40,000 people.

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