Brian Butterworth published on UK Free TV 15th August at Whilst only partially free TV, Setanta Sports presents viewers with new sport viewing choices - which depend upon your digital television reception equipment. The Freeview channel is transmitted on multiplex 2 and appears on the Freeview electronic programme guide as channel If you can watch Channel 4 and ITV-1 on Freeview, you can see Setanta, but you may need to rescan your channels first. Some magazine shows such as the Monday Night Goals and the Friday Football Preview will be carried free-to-air to promote the channel's output.
The rise and fall August 18 AM The rise and fall The gardening will be left for another day, the afternoon shopping will be postponed until tomorrow.
Across the country, football fans will put their feet up, flick their UPC box to channel or on Sky to channel , and settle down to watch Arsenal take on Aston Villa live on Setanta Sports.
The Premier League is back. The fact that Setanta Sports is still going is something of a miracle. The Irish broadcaster has had a rollercoaster ride since it was set up more than 20 years ago.
It is a story of a company that grew quickly, flew too close to the sun and came crashing back to earth. Now it is growing again, and as the Premier League kicks off today, it is once more going strong.
This year, it has done a deal with new UK broadcaster BT Sports to show its Premier League matches, so it will have 38 matches live on Saturdays with 3pm kick-offs and 33 that kick-off at The company looks for sport with a strong Irish connection.
Last night, the first French rugby match of the season featured Jonathan Sexton inset below playing for Racing Metro against Heineken Cup champions Toulon. Will that be enough, though, for Setanta to survive?
The subscription model is a hard one to make work, particularly in the small market that is Ireland.
Traditionally, it is run as part of an overall package. BT's foray into sport is at least partly to use it as a marketing tool for its broadband service in the UK. Even Sky's sports and movie channels run alongside a host of free-to-air stations.
Setanta needs 75,plus customers to break even. It is a difficult task. Then again, the men at the top are used to difficult tasks. When Leonard Ryan and Mickey O'Rourke set the business up in , it was to fill a very specific niche.
When more than 1, people arrived, they made a tidy profit. By the s, the two men had greater ambitions: the real prize lay in the UK and Ireland. Setanta bought broadcast rights to American golf, English rugby union, horse racing, cricket, boxing and football, going toe-to-toe against Sky.
Setanta went big on football, winning the rights to the Scottish Premier League SPL in , and gained the rights to 46 Premier League matches from to So far, so good. The problem was that Setanta UK borrowed millions of pounds to buy the rights to those matches.
It needed a lot of customers, and didn't have them.
The Setanta story looked set to become a cautionary tale. There would, however, be a successful postscript.
Now I am not so proud about my choice.
Like most businesses that have operations in different countries, Setanta Sports was not a single company. The UK business was separate from the Irish one, which was separate from the Asian one and so on. When Setanta UK collapsed, the other businesses were unaffected.
Four years later, the business is a lot smaller than it was, but is surviving. Setanta Ireland employs full-time staff in Dublin, and 45 freelancers who are used when business requires them.
Few companies survive after over-reaching the way Setanta Sports did during the boom, but, for the second time, it has become an unlikely success story. Indo Review.