Setanta Sports passes one million premium sub mark

Setanta Sports has notched up its one millionth premium subscription, a
milestone that fierce rival BSkyB will probably dismiss as irrelevant
but the Murdoch company is unlikely to be pleased at the inroads the
Irish broadcaster has made into its one-time near-monopoly.

announcement comes not quite four months after Setanta began
broadcasting live Premier League football coverage with no requirement
for a long-term contract. BSkyB continues to have the rights to the
majority of top English league action but the 9.99 a month deal from
Setanta for coverage on satellite, cable, Freeview or broadband has
clearly appealed to viewers.

Setanta has over two million
subscribers through its cable partners in the UK and Republic of
Ireland, Virgin Media and NTL/Chorus respectively. The broadcaster
stated that it wanted to hit the one million mark for Premier League
customers during its first season covering the championship and it has
done so several months earlier than expected.

The pay-per-view
broadcaster began broadcasting in 1992 and for some time was regarded
as exclusively a specialist in Gaelic sports. In recent years it has
expanded into first Scottish and now English Premier League football,
plus other tournaments and sports. Last week Setanta Sports News was
launched and next year the network will be working with ITV to show FA
Cup and England home friendly internationals.

Michael O’Rourke,
joint chief executive of Setanta Sports, commented, “This is a
fantastic achievement for us. This has been a transformational year for
the company and we are now broadcasting more sport to more people than
could have been imagined a couple of years ago.”

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