Virgin Media and Setanta Sports have announced plans to launch a free-to-air sports news channel. The move had been widely anticipated. Setanta Sports News will be available exclusively to the cablenet’s three million subscribers, effectively replacing Sky Sports News and is expected to launch in the next few weeks.
Setanta Sports co-founder Michael O’Rourke described the channel as one with genuine appeal to real sports fans. “Setanta Sports News will engage directly with fans on their level and bring them stories and issues that really matter to them. It will be a powerful new voice in sports news. With a full spectrum of live location reports, interviews, studio-based experts and discussion shows.”
In addition, a new sports website will combine videoclips with the latest sports news. Virgin has secured rights to clips from both the Premiership and the Football League for the site that will be available on all ISPs.
Earlier this week Virgin announced that Setanta’s hitherto premium sports channels would be available as part of the cablenet’s XL basic package.