ESPN America has launched on Top Up TV to take the place of recently-closed Setanta Sports 1. It’s also taken the place of Setanta Sports on IPTV service BT Vision.
Setanta went in to administration yesterday and its channels on DTT, BT Vision, Virgin and Sky were all closed down. ESPN America is available on Top Up TV (digital terrestrial) channel 34, and anyone with a valid Setanta card can watch it. It’s available on BT Vision channel 34 at no additional cost to all existing Setanta Sports customers.
ESPN will air Premier League football matches next season.
Setanta Sports has gone in to administration in Great Britain. All the Setanta channels have gone off air – Setanta Sports 1, Setanta Sports 2, Setanta Sports News and Setanta Golf have all gone. Celtic TV and Rangers TV are no longer available on Virgin Media. Racing UK – part of the Setanta package – will continue to broadcast, but as a standalone channel.
A message on Setanta.com – the official website for Setanta – says “Setanta Sports Customers from England, Wales, Scotland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands, please be advised that it is with great regret that Setanta GB is no longer trading. Setanta Sports is still operating in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland only. Customers from ROI and NI should go to www.setanta.com/ie for more information”.
Media website Digital Spy reports “Deloitte was appointed by Setanta at 2:30pm today after last-ditch efforts to secure a rescue package failed. 200 jobs have been lost with immediate effect as a result of the collapse” and Setanta chairman Sir Robin Miller says “This is a sad day for all concerned”.
ESPN has picked up the rights to air 46 matches that Setanta had for the 2009/2010 football season.
Digital terrestrial customers who subscribed to Setanta should visit the help pages on the Top Up TV website for further information regarding the closure of Setanta Sports 1.
Setanta continues to operate in Ireland. A message on the Ireland page for Setanta says “Setanta Sports Ireland will now cover broadcasting in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Please note that there are different levels of coverage available in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, and the full programme content will be advised in due course”.
The Setanta Sport channels are free for the entire Bank Holiday weekend (2nd-5th May). You must be subscribed to the M or L TV package for this offer. XL TV customers already get them for free, so they will see no change. The Setanta channels are, Setanta Sports 1, Setanta Sports 2, Celtic TV, Rangers TV, Arsenal TV, Setanta Golf and Liverpool TV.
FX is currently free-to-view on Virgin Media at the moment until the 14th April, and all the Setanta Sports channels will be free on the 2nd May until the 5th May. Also, Sky Movies Sci-Fi & Horror will be extended its broadcast hours from the 1st May – it will now air 8am to 5am every day (an extra 3 hours a day).