Setanta kicks off sports on Freeview

Dublin-based b'caster to launch pay channel

LONDON — Dublin-based sports broadcaster Setanta is to launch a pay sports channel on U.K. digital terrestrial platform Freeview.

The channel, available to auds who take pay service Top Up TV, will mean that for the first time Sky Sports will have a competitor for premium pay sports TV coverage in Blighty.

The move has been widely expected since Setanta, which already operates sports services for expatriates around the world including the U.S., successfully bid for a package of English Premier League soccer rights earlier this year.

It is unclear how much auds will have to pay for the channel, but somewhere in the region of £15 ($27) a month is likely.

But Setanta claims that watching Premier League matches on its channel will be “substantially” cheaper than on Sky.

Customers will be able to subscribe to the channel on a stand-alone basis and not have to fork out for a basic tier package before paying for the soccer.

Setanta’s director of sport Trevor East said, “Our research indicates there is substantial demand for a competitively prices premium sports service among Freeview homes.”

The channel will bow early next year.

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