Setanta Sports

Setanta Sports


Setanta Sports is an international sports broadcaster, operating 12 channels in 24 countries. The availability of these channels varies depending on the delivery platform and location.


Setanta Sports was formed in 1990 to facilitate the broadcasting of Irish sporting events to Irish expatriates. More recently the network has expanded and it now broadcasts an extensive array of top live sporting events aimed at international English-speaking audiences. Setanta Ireland's CEO is Niall Cogley, former Director of Sport at RTÉ. The company's headquarters is 4th Floor, Georges Quay House, 43 Townsend Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. Joint Group CEOs Michael O'Rourke and Leonard Ryan, COO Mark O'Meara and CFO Nigel Brennan are all based in that area. Paul Deegan one of the company's brightest executive prospects left the company by mutual consent in March 2006. Deegan had also retired from the European athletic circuit at the same time. The very name 'Setanta', comes from the name of the ancient Irish Warrior 'Setanta' from Ulster who frequently played the oldest known field sport, hurling, and who was later given the name 'Cúchulainn' as described in the ancient Irish texts of the 'Annals of Ulster'.

On May 5th 2006, Setanta broke Sky Sports' three-year monopoly on showing Barclays Premier League football in the UK, successfully bidding £392 million for the rights to show 46 matches per season on its multiplatform subscription channel.


Setanta Sports offers commercial venues in several countries around the world programming of sports such as football (soccer), Gaelic football, hurling, golf, cricket, Australian rules football, rugby union and rugby league and boxing


In Ireland, Setanta Sports' Channels are available on a number of different platforms. Its flagship Channel Setanta Ireland is available for free on UPC Ireland's basic cable package and as a subscription service on Sky Digital. With Sky Digital subscribers receive the full array of Setanta Sports channels — Setanta Sports Ireland, Setanta Sports 1 & 2, Setanta Golf, Setanta Sports News, Liverpool FC TV, Celtic TV, Rangers TV, NASN, Racing UK and Racing World and more recently launched Arsenal TV.

Setanta also offers a commercial service for Business premises comprising of Setanta Ireland, Setanta Golf, Setanta Sports 1, Setanta Sports 2, Celtic TV, Rangers TV and Racing World.


* Setanta Sports 1
* Setanta Sports 2
* Setanta Golf
* Racing UK (owned by a consortium of racecourses, but still sold as part of the "Setanta Sports Pack")
* Racing World (owned by a consortium of racecourses, but still sold as part of the "Setanta Sports Pack")
* Rangers TV
* Celtic TV
* Liverpool FC TV
* Arsenal TV
* NASN (owned by ESPN since March 2007, but still sold as part of the "Setanta Sports Pack")
* Setanta Sports News (a joint venture between Setanta and Virgin Media Television and produced by ITN)

United Kingdom


In the United Kingdom the Setanta channels are:

* Setanta Sports 1
* Setanta Sports 2
* Setanta Golf
* Setanta Ireland
* Racing UK (owned by a consortium of racecourses, but still sold as part of the "Setanta Sports Pack")
* Racing World (owned by a consortium of racecourses, but still sold as part of the "Setanta Sports Pack")
* Rangers TV
* Celtic TV
* Liverpool FC TV
* Arsenal TV
* NASN (owned by ESPN since March 2007, but still sold as part of the "Setanta Sports Pack")
* Setanta Sports News (a joint venture between Setanta and Virgin Media Television and produced by ITN)

Setanta are hoping to have a High-definition channel launched by August 2008, in time for the new Barclays Premiership season.


Setanta Sports is available on cable and the following platforms in the UK:

* Freeview Digital Terrestrial Television
* BT Vision
* BSkyB
* Virgin Media
* Broadband
* Tiscali TV


* Only one channel (Setanta Sports 1) is available via Digital Terrestrial Television and BT Vision.
* Only seven channels are available via Virgin Media[2]
* Only three channels (Setanta Sports 1, Setanta Sports 2 and Setanta Golf) are available via Setanta by Broadband. Those same three channels are available on Tiscali TV.
* The Setanta Ireland channel is only available via Sky Digital and NTL cable. Some programming is restricted for rights reasons.

Selected Rights

* 60 live Scottish Premier League matches (2004-2010)
* 46 live Barclays Premier League games, plus additional matches for Ireland viewers (2007-2010)
* Community Shield (2008-2011)
* Live FA Cup football (2008-2011), comprising of:

Three games and one replay per round in rounds 3-5
Two Quarter-finals and one Quarter-final replay (if any are required)
One semi-final
The Final (shared with ITV)

* Live England home friendlies & away European Championship and World Cup qualifiers (2008-2011)[3]
* Live international away football from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland.
* England under 21 and B games (2008-2011)[3]
* Blue Square Premier and Setanta Shield matches (English Non-League)
* German Bundesliga
* French Ligue 1
* Dutch Eredivisie
* Portuguese Liga
* PGA Tour events (with the exception of the major championships and the World Golf Championships), Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour events (2007-2012)[4]
* Asian Tour golf
* Celtic League rugby union
* Australian National Rugby League (NRL)
* Australian Football League (AFL)
* IAAF Golden League athletics
* Gaelic Athletic Association - O'Byrne Cup,National Football League
* ATP Tour tennis
* BTCC touring car racing
* UFC all live events (July 2008 onwards)
* Selected top boxing matches

Known costs

* English Premier League rights - £392m over three years.
* Scottish Premier League rights - £13.625m per year
* PGA Tour - £103m [4]
* FA Cup - £150m [7] over four years


The broadcaster's Digital Terrestrial channel has been criticised for its poor picture quality[citation needed]. This is mainly due to the channel being broadcast at a lower bitrate than the majority of UK digital terrestrial broadcasts.

Security concerns

Concerns have been raised over the security and viability of Setanta's digital terrestrial channel provided by Top Up TV because the encryption system was switched from the MediaGuard encryption system (which was cracked in continental Europe in 2004) to the Nagravision encryption system according to the conditional access manufacturer Kudelski. Like Mediaguard, the different versions of Nagravision are insecure and have also been compromised according to media industry studies, external appraisals [2] and numerous discussion websites. The key-based encryption systems, like Nagravison, are fundamentally insecure because the keys and control words necessary to decrypt the television signal are themselves broadcast by the service provider. It is therefore very much easier for hackers to intercept the keys and reverse engineer the smartcards needed to hack the system.

In the United Kingdom, advanced conditional access modules for digital televisions and personal video recorders, such as the Dragon, T-Rex and Reality CAMs, that can easily decrypt Nagravision encryptions systems are freely on sale directly from suppliers and on the UK version of eBay. In addition, cloned smartcards for set top boxes that can decrypt Nagravision are now readily available and are already being traded on certain illicit websites within the UK. This has led to growing speculation that digital terrestrial pay-TV piracy is increasing within the United Kingdom during the 2007/2008 football season due to the much greater use of these public hack cloned cards and advanced conditional access modules.

Sky's own Sky Italia service suffered heavy losses due to piracy and more than 3 million Italian homes accessed pay-TV services through hacked decoder cards for conditional access set top boxes and conditional access modules for digital televisions and personal video recorders. Sky Italia had to switch from an insecure key-based system to the secure Videoguard cryptographic algorithm encryption system. This issue has been covered by the Guardian and Financial Times newspapers and the Datamonitor commercial analysis group.[9] [10] [11] [12]


Former BBC and ITV Sport presenter Des Lynam, together with actress Thaila Zucchi starred in the advertising launch of Setanta's coverage of Premier League football from August 2007. The slogan used in this advert is "Setanta Sports - £9.99 a month, no annual contract."

North America

Main article: Setanta Sports North America

Setanta Sports North America, currently available in the United States, and Canada is split into four parts:

* Setanta Sports Channel for domestic and commercial satellite customers, as well IPTV service provider ITVN.
* Setanta Premium pay-per-view for commercial venues
* Setanta Broadband, offering live and delayed streaming video to broadband computer users. Certain content is archived, including English Premier League soccer and rugby matches. However, the EPL matches are often not archived until at least several days after matches are played, due to licensing and other issues.
* Setanta Mobile offering real time live match scores

Setanta Sports is currently available on the DISH Network (Channel 406); StarChoice (Channel 239); DIRECTV (Channel 615 with an overflow channel called Setanta Xtra on 670); Bell ExpressVu (Channel 420); GlobeCast WorldTV (Channel 752 - Residential only) and

Top football features include live English Premiership, UEFA Champions League, Euro 2008 Qualifiers, Coca-Cola Championship, Dutch & French Leagues, Scottish Premier League, German FA Cup, Asian Cup Qualifiers, Asian Champions League and MUTV and ChelseaTV.

Setanta Sports North America carries most of the world's top rugby competitions, including the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Six Nations, Tri Nations, Super 14, British & Irish Lions matches, Currie Cup, Heineken Cup, Guinness Premiership, Magners League and EDF Energy Cup, all in union, plus live broadcasts of the Australian NRL and European Super League in league. The network also carries the Australian Football League, the principal competition in Australian rules football.



Setanta broadcasts three channels into Australia:

* Setanta Sports
* Setanta Broadband
* Setanta Premium (Clubs and Pubs only)


Setanta Sports is available through Foxtel for a price of $14.95 per month per set top unit. It is broadcast in widescreen, on channnel 525.

Setanta Sports is now available on Austar channel 510 as part of the 'Sports Extra' tier, which is priced at $6 more than the standard sports tier.

It is also possible to subscribe to Setanta Sports with your own satellite dish on the Globecast Australia platform, for a price of $14.95 a month.

Setanta By Broadband is available to Australian residents for $14.99 a month. Events are shown live and on demand, however not all coverage is available on Setanta By Broadband.

Setanta Premium service is only available to pubs and clubs.



Setanta's is the leading broadcaster of soccer in Australia currently covering a variety of competitions from Europe & South America. Setanta Sports is the only channel in Australia who will broadcast coverage of every game of the UEFA Euro 2008 Finals in June 2008. Setanta current soccer rights are:


* Scottish Premier League
* Italian Serie A (certain teams home fixtures)
* German Bundesliga
* French Ligue 1
* Dutch League
* Portuguese League
* The English Conference
* League of Ireland

Domestic Cups

* Scottish Cup
* Scottish League Cup
* French League Cup
* French Cup
* Dutch Cup
* German Cup
* German League Cup
* Setanta Sports Cup
* Setanta Shield

International Club Competitions

* UEFA Cup
* Copa Libertadores
* Copa Sudamericana

Club Channel Coverage

* Chelsea TV, MUTV, Celtic TV, Rangers TV, Barca TV

International Matches

* South American World Cup Qualifying (All games live)
* European World Cup Qualifying
* UEFA Euro 2008 Finals
* Brazil national football team World Tour
* Argentina national football team World Tour
* International Friendlies (From Europe)

Rugby Union

Setanta is the leading broadcaster of European Rugby in Australia including the World's biggest annual rugby tournament the Six Nations Championship. Setanta's full rugby line up is

* Six Nations Championship
* Guinness Premiership
* EDF Energy Cup
* Magners League
* Home games of the England national rugby union team.


Setanta honours its Irish origins with in depth coverage of the Gaelic Athletic Association football and hurling championships. This includes the

* Provincial championships
* All-Ireland Senior Football Championship
* All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship
* All Ireland Club Championships traditionally played on St Patrick's Day.


Setanta has signed up with Nimbus Sports to show One Day International and Test match cricket taking place in India and Bangladesh's from November 2007. Coverage started with the recent Pakistani tour of India in November & December 2007. Upcoming serie being broadcast by Setanta are

* South African Tour of Bangladesh in February & March 2008
* South African Tour of India in March & April 2008


On August 10, 2007, a Canadian version of Setanta Sports was launched. Currently the service is available to Shaw digital cable customers on channel 154, Rogers digital cable customers on channel 429, EastLink digital cable customers on channel 500, Bell ExpressVu on channel 420, Star Choice on channel 239 and other carriers. Setanta offered a free viewing of the station from August 10, 2007 until September 10, 2007, after which it became a stand-alone service at $14.99 per month.



Press Release

30th November 2007

Setanta Sports News launches today

-New channel offers a fresh approach to sports news broadcasting-

LONDON, November 29th, 2007: Setanta Sports News, the new 24-hour rolling sports news channel, launches today and marked the occasion with a sporting bash at Urban Golf in Soho, attended by sporting greats such as golfing legend, Darren Clarke, WBO Champion Enzo Maccarinelli and Setanta Sports pundits Tim Sherwood and Les Ferdinand.

Setanta Sports News offers free-to-air sports news broadcasting for millions of homes across the UK with a straightforward and fresh approach to delivering the latest breaking sports news and exciting new programming to sports fans. Highlights include a weekly chat show with Kelly Dalglish, a live phone in show with footballing legend Steve Claridge, and ‘The Goal Rush’, which will be the only programme on a free-to-air sports news channel to show all the goals from the Barclays Premier League and Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Bright new personalities who want to stamp their mark on sports broadcasting will give the channel a young and vibrant on-air feel. Ex-Real Madrid TV presenter, Ashley House, former BBC Sport reporter, Roann Ghosh and ex-Commonwealth Games athlete, Lisa Knights, are just a few of the presenters confirmed to front up the channel. The on-air team will also be focused on generating debate and engaging with sports fans across the nation, including the channels latest ‘fan-correspondents’ who will represent their teams and sports across the UK.

Leonard Ryan, joint Chief Executive, Setanta Sports, said: “Setanta Sports News was created to offer a straightforward and fresh way of delivering sports news and quality content to fans across the UK. I am delighted that Setanta has taken this major step forward and created this cutting edge sports news service that can be enjoyed in millions of homes across the UK.”

Malcolm Wall, CEO of Content, Virgin Media, said: “Setanta Sports News will offer a real choice for sports fans, by providing the very best in breaking sports news and commentary. At Virgin Media, we always look to offer consumers the very best in entertainment and this channel is another way of doing just that.”

Setanta Sports News will be available free-to-air on the Virgin Media platform, and also on satellite, and it will cover, in detail, all relevant sports stories from the UK and abroad, regardless of whether the event is broadcast on a Setanta channel.

Simon Green, Setanta Sports News, said: “Everyone at Setanta is very excited that Setanta Sports News launching today. When we set out to create this channel we placed the fans at the heart of our programming, which is something that will really come across on screen.”

Setanta Sports News is jointly owned by Setanta Sports and Virgin Media, and produced by ITN. Its EPG number on Virgin Media is 518. The satellite EPG number is 435.

For further information - please contact:
Richard Tompkins or Sally Payne at Braben on 020 7566 2990 or email or
Verity Jukes at Virgin Media on 0207 909 2120 or email

Editor information:

Setanta Sports

Setanta Sports is a leading international pay-TV sports broadcaster operating nine channels in the UK, Ireland, North America and Australia. Founded in 1992, its premium sports content is available to more than 50 million digital homes worldwide. Setanta operates more sports channels than any other broadcaster in the UK and Ireland and has recently started broadcasting the Barclays Premier League in the UK for the first time.

Virgin Media

Virgin Media is an innovative and pioneering UK entertainment and communications business. For the first time consumers can get everything they need from one company - the UK's only quad play of TV, broadband, phone and mobile plus the most advanced TV on demand service available, the UK’s first high definition TV service and V+, our high specification personal video recorder. We're the UK’s most popular residential broadband provider, the largest virtual mobile network operator and the second largest provider of pay TV and home phone.

Virgin Media owns two content businesses - Virgin Media Television (VMTV) and sit-up. VMTV owns seven entertainment channels - Virgin 1, Living, Living 2, Bravo, Bravo 2, Challenge, Trouble - and is a 50% partner in UKTV, which consists of ten channels including UKTV Gold and UKTV History. sit-up runs retail TV channels bid tv, price-drop tv and speed auctiontv.

Virgin Media is the largest Virgin company in the world and has almost 10 million customers. To find out more, visit



Setanta Sports News launches today - 30th November 2007


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