Setanta Ireland

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Setanta Ireland
Setanta Sports logo
Launched 2006
Owned by Setanta Sports
Picture format 576i (SDTV 16:9)
1080i (HDTV 16:9)
Audience share 0.4% Red Arrow Down.svg (31/12/2010, [1])
Country Ireland
Broadcast area Ireland
Northern Ireland
Formerly called Setanta Sports Ireland
Sister channel(s) Setanta Sports 1
BT Sport
Sky Ireland Channel 423 (ROI and NI)
UPC Ireland Channel 105/400
Channel 412 (HD)

Setanta Ireland /sɛˈtæntə/ is a subscription based Irish sports channel featuring local and international sporting events. The channel is available on some basic cable packages in the Republic of Ireland, while it is available upon direct subscription to the Setanta Sports package on other networks across Ireland. Its sister channel is the subscription based network Setanta Sports 1. In June 2013 these two channels were joined by BT Sport & ESPN (UK).


  • Setanta Sports was formed in 1990 to facilitate the broadcasting of Irish sporting events to Irish expatriates
  • Setanta Ireland launched in Aug 2004 initially on the UPC platform in the Republic of Ireland.
  • Setanta Ireland's CEO is Michael O'Rourke, who was one of the original company founders. He took over following the departure of Colin Morgan in late 2012. Niall Cogley was the CEO prior to that.
  • The company's production headquarters is in Broadcasting House, Princes Street South, Dubln 2, Ireland.
  • Senior positions include Brendan Higgins CFO, Brian Quinn Marketing Director, Trevor Twamley Advertising Sales Director, Graham Byrne Head of commercial premises
  • The name 'Setanta', comes from the name of the ancient Irish Warrior 'Setanta' from Ulster who frequently played the oldest known field sport[citation needed], hurling, and who was later given the name 'Cúchulainn' as described in the ancient Irish texts of the 'Annals of Ulster'
  • Setanta acquired the Premier League highlights rights for Rep. Of Ireland in Aug 2013 taking over from RTÉ


In Ireland Setanta Sports broadcast League of Ireland, Setanta Sports Cup Premier League (ROI only), Allianz Leagues GAA, F1, The Masters, The Open Championship, Europa League, Champions League, Roland Garros, Live Horseracing and Golf Channel programming.

For a brief period from June 2011, Setanta Ireland experimented with music programming and Irish films as part of its line-up.[2]

In 2012 Setanta had the Irish rights to cover all of Liverpool's home games live in the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League group stage.

In Aug 2013 Setanta Ireland started showing Premier League Highlights for the first time. The new show #Premier League Central takes over from RTÉ who had previously held the rights. The show goes out on Saturday and Sunday nights and is hosted by Connor Morris.

In June 2013 Setanta Ireland added the newly formed UK sports broadcaster BT Sport to its platform for Republic of Ireland sports fans. This resulted in the Setanta Sports pack in the ROI containing five channels; Setanta Ireland, Setanta 1, BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 & ESPN. All programming available on the Setanta Sports pack can found below.

  • Masters Tournament
  • Open Championship
  • Royal Trophy live from Asia – 3 days in December
  • Golf Channel Content including the Feherty show, Big Break Ireland and Being John Daly
  • Golf Central from Golf Channel
  • 35 Exclusively Live European Rugby Champions Cup games
  • Exclusively live European Rugby Challenge Cup games
  • 69 Exclusively Aviva Premiership rugby games
  • Irish Schools Rugby
  • RaboDirect Pro 12
  • Six Nations highlights – 5 weekends x 3 games in Feb and March
  • Aviva Premiership
  • French Top14
  • Live NRL from Australia
  • The Championship – live rugby league from the UK
  • In Touch – weekly rugby highlights
North American sports
  • Live NFL
  • Live NBA
  • Live NHL
  • Live NCCA football & basketball
  • NHL Tonight – Magazine show
  • NASCAR – 36 races live
  • Over 50 days of live racing from various UK meetings
  • Roland Garros
  • Wimbledon
  • WRC Rally Preview and Highlights
  • Sundry MMA events including cage contender
  • Boxing Magazine shows
  • Mark your card – weekly horse racing show
  • Sundry Athletic Shows including the Great North Run
  • Irish Sports Documentaries commissioned for Setanta
  • European Games
  • Republic of Ireland Live Allianz Leagues games
  • Republic of Ireland Deferred GAA Championship Coverage

New ownership[edit]

In 2012 the ownership structure changed again and the organisation is now owned by Michael O'Rourke one of the original founders.

In July 2009 the ownership structure of Setanta Sports Channel Ireland Limited (previously Setanta Sports Ireland Ltd) changed. Setanta Sports Channel Ireland Limited is now co-owned by Gaiety Investments (60% share) with the remaining 40% share made up by Sabloss Limited. The main shareholders in Sabloss are Michael O’Rourke, Leonard Ryan and Mark O’Meara. Sabloss has also purchased 100% of the shares in Setanta Sports North America Limited. Both Setanta Sports Channel Ireland Limited and Setanta Sports North America Limited are licenced by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland.[3]

Setanta HD[edit]

Setanta HD Logo

Setanta HD upon launch was the first Irish HD channel, it is a simulcast of Setanta Ireland in high-definition (HD), was added to UPC Ireland on 23 November 2010 with an official launch held four days later.[4] Setanta Sports is the Republic of Ireland's first indigenous broadcaster to use HD.[5] The channel is available on UPC Ireland channel 412, with a launch on satellite planned at a later date.[6]

Setanta had previously hoped to have a high-definition channel launched by August 2008, in time for the 2008–09 Premier League season.[7]

Setanta Goals[edit]

In October 2010, Setanta Sports launched an app for the iPhone and a ‘Setanta Goals’ service for other mobile phones and BlackBerry's. A version of the app for Android phones followed.[6] This app was renamed to the Premier Goals APP in Aug 2012. The app was shut down at the end of the 2012/2013 season.


Setanta Sports offers commercial venues in Ireland programming of sports such as football (soccer), Gaelic football, hurling, golf, cricket, rugby union and rugby league and boxing


In Ireland, Setanta Sports' Channels are available on a number of different platforms. Its flagship Channel Setanta Ireland is available for free on UPC Ireland's basic cable package and as a subscription service on Sky. Satellite subscribers receive the two Setanta Sports channels Setanta Ireland and Setanta Sports 1.

Previous developments with Setanta UK[edit]

Setanta Sports GB including joint venture Setanta Sports News and other channels ceased trading at 18:00 on 22 June 2009 with the loss of jobs by staff associated with that section of the business following its difficulty in completing rights holder payments.[8] Following evaluation over the weekend and on Monday 22 June 2009 it agreed to the appointment as board of Setanta Sports Holdings of Deloitte as administrators to the GB business.

However other parts of the business that are profitable such as Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland[9] continued to trade and transmit, with only some content affected by the UK operation. They continue receiving subscriptions and so forth as going concerns following expressions of interest by various companies.[10]

Those Setanta Sports operations still trading are:

  • Ireland[9] (Setanta 1 and Setanta Ireland only)
  • USA[11] Sold in 2010
  • Canada[12] Sold in 2012
  • Australia[13]

It has been reported by The Irish Times and RTÉ News that UPC Ireland and MCD music promoter Denis Desmond are interested in purchasing Setanta channels in Ireland.[14]

On 30 June 2009, it was reported by the Irish Independent that the original owners of Setanta Sports and Denis Desmond have come to an agreement to continue to own and operate Setanta Ireland.[15]

On 16 July 2009, it was reported that Setanta Sports Ireland have bought the rights to air 33 live games from the UK's Premier League.[16]

On 19 July 2009, it was reported that Setanta Sports Ireland would make 21 employees redundant[17] though with the opportunity to be reemployed in the near future.

On 28 July 2009, it was confirmed that the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland has approved that the new ownership of Setanta Sports in Ireland and Setanta Sports in North America. A new deal between BCI and Setanta Sports will see Setanta Ireland and Setanta Sports 1 continue to air exclusively to Irish audiences.[3]

OneVision Irish DTT license application[edit]

On 1 May 2009, Fintan Drury, chairperson of the OneVision consortium made up of TV3 Group, Arqiva, Eircom and Setanta Sports, announced that OneVision is to enter negotiations with the BCI with the view to take over operations of the pay DTT service.[18] If negotiations are deemed successful it may see the launch of DTT in late 2009/early 2010 at a proposed operation cost of €40 million. OneVision aspires to offer 23 channels coinciding with the free-to-air channels.[19] For more one OneVision see article One Vision (DTT). It is Setanta Ireland that is part of the Onevision DTT Consortium and its new ownership structure could be perceived as being positive for the Onevision consortium DTT plans.

BT Sport deal[edit]

on June 24, 2013, Setanta announced that it has struck a 3-year deal with BT Sport to carry the BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN channels as part of the Setanta pack in the Republic of Ireland. The HD feeds of these channels are also be available at no extra cost.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Media Live". Retrieved 2010-03-26.  Registration required
  2. ^ "Setanta Sports gives Irish films a try-out". The Irish Times. 1 July 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "BCI approves Ownership changes at Setanta Sports Channel Ireland and signs 2 new satellite content contracts with Setanta Companies". Press Release. Broadcasting Commission of Ireland. 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  4. ^ "Setanta HD launches tomorrow". Business and Leadership. 26 November 2010. 
  5. ^ "Setanta scores a first in high-definition revolution". Irish Independent. 16 September 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Setanta becomes the first Irish channel to go HD". Setanta Sports. 16 September 2010. 
  7. ^ Welsh, James (2007-12-06). "Setanta, Sky spar over high def channel". Digital Spy. Retrieved 25 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "Setanta Sports GB is no longer trading". Setanta Sports. 2009-06-23. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  9. ^ a b "Setanta Sports Ireland Home". Setanta Sports. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  10. ^ Hancock, Ciarán (2009-06-24). "NTL parent interested in Setanta's Irish arm". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  11. ^ "Setanta Sports USA Homepage: Setanta Sports has ceased to broadcast in the USA and the Caribbean.". Setanta Sports. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  12. ^ "Setanta Sports Canada Homepage". Setanta Sports. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  13. ^ "Setanta Sports Australia Homepage". Setanta Sports. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  14. ^ "Liberty Global looking at Setanta's Irish arm". RTÉ Business (RTÉ). 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  15. ^ Noonan, Laura (2009-06-30). "Setanta Ireland buyout deal agreed". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  16. ^ Hancock, Ciarán (2009-07-16). "Setanta secures Premier League package for screening here". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  17. ^ Sweeney, E, Ken (2009-07-19). "Setanta Sports Ireland to make 21 workers redundant". Irish Tribune. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  18. ^ Noonan, Laura (2009-05-02). "OneVision sets sights on paid-for TV project". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  19. ^ "OneVision wants DTT licence". The Irish Times. 2009-05-01. Retrieved 23 June 2009. 

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