Setanta Sports Expands UK Presence

By Kevin Hilton
Setanta Sports has consolidated
its presence on digital terrestrial television (DTT) in the UK by signing
a further
deal with premium channel provider Top Up TV. Under the arrangement
Top Up TV will sell Setanta services on its digital TV recorder (DVR),
in addition to what is already available through its Anytime and Picture
Box movie subscription packages.

Top Up TV provides pay-channels
to Freeview viewers, supplementing the free-to-air output. Setanta is
also available on the DTT platform through a direct subscription from
the broadcaster itself and the hope is that Freeview users will eventually
migrate to the main Setanta Sports 1 channel. Other outlets for Setanta
include the Virgin cable network, satellite and BT Vision and Tiscali

The new service will start
in August at the beginning of the 2008/9 English Premier League football
season and be a major component of Top Up TV’s package of year. Setanta
also has the rights to boxing and the US PGA Tour and now has the FA
Cup, England international friendlies and World Cup qualifiers involving
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Mark O’Meara, chief executive
of Setanta Sports UK, commented, “We are delighted to have entered
into this new distribution agreement with Top Up TV. I am convinced
that together we are going to attract a big new audience for Setanta
Sports and its great range of live and exclusive sport.”

The chief executive of Top
Up TV, Nick Markham, added, “Setanta provides an excellent service
to sports fans and we are really looking forward to offering the channel
to Freeview customers who would like to benefit from our DVR functionality.
From now on they can record, rewind and even pause their favourite Setanta

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