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Setanta Sports is the parent company of the international sports broadcasting brand Setanta Sports based in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. The company is a subsidiary of Irish telecommunications company Eir. The company operates channels across Ireland, Central Europe, Russia and Central Asia. With previous operations in the UK, Asia, Australia, US & Canada.
This channel was formed in 1990 to facilitate the broadcasting of Irish sporting events to international audiences.
In July 2009, the ownership structure of Setanta Sports Channel Ireland Limited (previously Setanta Sports Ireland Ltd) changed. This Channel Ireland Limited is co-owned by Gaiety Investments (60% share) with the remaining 40% share made up by Danu Partners Limited. The main shareholders in Danu are Michael O’Rourke, Leonard Ryan, and Mark O’Meara. Danu purchased 100% of the shares in Setanta Sports North America Limited which was disposed of in early 2010. Setanta Sports Channel Ireland Limited is licensed by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
The Setanta business in Ireland has managed to survive despite the difficulties with Setanta GB. Colin Morgan, formerly CEO of Quinn Direct Insurance, joined the Setanta Ireland business in October 2010.
In 2015 it was announced that Eir were in the process of buying Setanta’s remaining Irish Operations Setanta Ireland and Setanta Sports 1, the deal also includes the sale of the Setanta Sports Pack which includes BT Sport.
It offers commercial venues in several countries around the world programming of sports such as football (soccer- except the premiership the most popular league), Gaelic football, hurling, golf, cricket, Australian rules football, boxing, NHL ice hockey and rugby union (except the world cup and six nations the largest rugby tournaments) and league.
Republic of Ireland
- Setanta Ireland
- Setanta Sports 1
- BT Sport 1 & 2 (under license from BT Sport)
- ESPN (under license from BT Sport)
- Setanta Ireland
- Setanta Sports 1
- Setanta Sports Eurasia
- Stake-Off (At the moment)
As of August 2014 both Setanta Sports Australia and Setanta Sports Plus were sold to Al Jazeera Media Network with approval sought from regulators in Australia. The channel became BeIN Sports Australia in November, 2014.
Setanta operated Setanta Sports and Setanta Action until October 2013 when the channels were acquired by 21st Century Fox. In July 2014, Fox announced that from August 2014 the channels would be rebranded Fox Sports and Fox Sports 2.
Setanta GB operated Setanta Sports 1 & 2 and Setanta Golf within Great Britain. Under a joint venture with Virgin Media, it operated Setanta Sports News. Setanta GB also operated Arsenal TV, Celtic TV, LFC TV and Rangers TV with their respective clubs. Setanta GB went into administration on 22 June 2009, and at 18:00 most of its channels ceased operations within Great Britain.
Arsenal TV continued until August 2009 while Arsenal explored alternative options. Liverpool FC assumed responsibility for LFC TV and decided to continue broadcasting as normal.
United States of America
It previously broadcast in the United States with Setanta Sports USA from 2005 to 2010. Fox Sports purchased the network’s programming rights out of bankruptcy, adding them to Fox Soccer Channel’s existing schedule and that on of a new network, Fox Soccer Plus.
It previously operated a version of the channel in Canada as a joint venture with Canadian media company Rogers Communications (Setanta itself owned 20% of the network). However, its minority stake was acquired by Rogers in July 2011 and the channel was re-aligned as part of its Sportsnet networks, and become Sportsnet World on 3 October 2011. The re-launch would also come alongside an overall re-branding of the Sportsnet networks.
It launched a variation of the channel in Asia. In 2015, Discovery Networks International purchased the channel, as of 2016 the channel is still branded as Setanta-Sports under license from Setanta Ireland. Discovery may decided to rebrand the channel in due course. Setanta Asia currently operates Setanta Sports Plus and Setanta Sports Asia.
Setanta made a strong recovery in Ireland since the adversity in Great Britain, continuing its resurrection by employing a further 50 employees in February 2010. The Setanta Ireland channel is available to entire UPC base as a basic channel in Ireland, around 1.3 million homes but actually in about 530,000. Setanta also has operations in Canada, Australia and Asia.
In June 2013 it was announced that this channel will carry the new BT Sport channels as part of its overall sports package for Irish viewers. The deal will add 38 live Premier League games to its TV package and bring to 71 the total number of top-flight English matches on offer to Irish subscribers for the next three years.
High definition TV
In September 2010, Setanta Ireland announced that it would be Ireland’s first indigenous channel to broadcast in HD. The service launched in February 2011. The Dublin vs Armagh Gaelic football encounter on 5 February 2011 was Ireland’s first broadcast of Gaelic Games in high definition.
Special 1 TV – parody programme on this channel that featuring puppet caricatures of football personalities
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