Growth and fall of the Setanta Sports News channel

Setanta Sports News was a production of the Virgin Media Television network and Setanta Sports. Launched in November 2007, this channel was a 24 hour sports news provider for Setanta Sports. Setanta Sports News capitalized on the success of Setanta Sports and tried to capture the sports news viewers based in UK and Ireland. A free channel available via satellite television and also available online, Setanta Sports News was positioned as Sky Sports News’ primary rival. Even when Sky Sports News became a part of Virgin Media television, Setanta Sports remained with this platform and continued to retain its rival position.

Approximately a year after the channel launch, it was decided that the channel required a new look. Thus came the new look of the show with a widescreen format, headlines were run at the bottom length of the screen and many more smaller yet significant changes. The channel however continued to experiment with its looks and format structure over the year incorporating smaller changes to make it attractive to the viewers.

Setanta Sports was doing very well as a sports channel since its inception in 1990. This channel broadcasted international sporting events from its station located in the city of Dublin in Ireland. Formed with an understanding of the Irishman’s love for sport, this channel aimed at broadcasting all Irish sports events to its Irish expats. They have a set of individual channels that operate in the US, Ireland, Canada, Australia and Africa and broadcast sporting events such as hurling, golf, Gaelic football, association football, American football, horse racing, boxing, rugby union and darts.

However after a successful run for over a decade, Setanta Sports began facing financial difficulties. The channel operated by Setanta Sports in Great Britain ceased to be broadcast just as Setanta Sports entered administration or liquidation in 2009 because of financial issues and insufficiency of funds. The ownership of Setanta Sports Channel Ireland limited changed. The channel then went on to be co-owned by Gaiety Investments and Sabloss Limited.

Because of this change in fortune, Setanta Sports News ceased broadcasting from 2009. This was also followed by a loss of a number of jobs. However parts of Setanta Sports continued broadcasting sports events in Ireland, Canada, USA and Australia. The only hiccup was that some content remained affected because of the closure of the operations in Great Britain.

Setanta Sports continued to be in the news for the various reports that continued to brew regarding its change in ownership and prospective buying proposals. There were several reports by news providers that spoke of Setanta Sports Ireland was being looked at with interest by music producer Dennis Desmond.

Following the ownership change both of the Setanta Channels, the one in Ireland and the one in the United States, are licensed by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland. These broadcast rights include airing of club football from counties such as Germany, France, Ireland, Brazil and Netherlands, national football games, rugby union games, rugby league games, exclusive rights to the live broadcasting of the USA PGA golf tour and other championships such as Australian Football League, war of the darts etc.