Open main menu

Setanta Sports News was a television channel from Virgin Media Television and Setanta Sports. The channel launched on 29 November 2007.[2] as a rolling 24-hour sports news channel using the strength of the Setanta Sports brand across the United Kingdom and Ireland. It was available to all Virgin Media customers and also free-to-view on satellite and online. The channel was seen as Virgin Media's rival to Sky Sports News, which was removed from their platform on 1 March 2007 as their contract with British Sky Broadcasting had ended. However, when Virgin Media reinstated Sky Sports News onto their television platform, their Setanta rival remained an active channel.

Setanta Sports News
Setanta Sports News.svg
Launched29 November 2007
Closed23 June 2009[1]
Owned byVirgin Media Television &
Setanta Sports
Picture format16:9, 576i (SDTV)
United Kingdom
Sister channel(s)Setanta Sports 1 & 2, Setanta Ireland
(at time of closure)
Sky DigitalChannel 418 (UK)
Channel 430 (Ireland)
Virgin MediaChannel 518
UPC IrelandChannel 412

It was announced on 12 September 2007 that ITN was appointed producer of Setanta Sports News.[3]

The channel was transmitted by Red Bee Media, who also play in the commercial breaks.

The channel closed at just before 6pm on Tuesday 23 June 2009, following financial difficulties.[4]



Setanta Sports News was launched on 29 November 2007 on the Virgin Media and Sky Digital platforms. The Virgin Media Television network had previously expressed their interest in running a sports news channel, after BSkyB removed Sky Sports News from ntl:Telewest's successor Virgin Media. Some media sources have claimed that Setanta News is intended to be in direct competition with BSkyB's Sky Sports News,[5] which has an average of around 0.6%. It was announced in the summer of 2007 that Virgin Media Television was to launch the new channel.[6]

On 1 September 2008, the channel was given a new look. The format was changed from 4:3 to Widescreen. Viewers could see headlines along the length of the bottom of the screen, rather than across the top of the video section. There were other several minor changes, none of particular importance.

Over the course of the remainder of the year, channel producers experimented with different format designs, including removing the side bar over midweek.


On 23 June 2009, it was announced Setanta Sports had been placed into administration after rescue talks designed to secure new funding collapsed. Setanta Sports News closed on the same day, at 18:00, with 60 staff made redundant.[7]

International coverageEdit

From 1 January 2008, Setanta Sports News was broadcast live in one hour blocks on their domestic international stations in the Republic of Ireland (at 18:00 on Setanta Ireland), Australia, and the USA. In Australia, Setanta Sports News was shown live daily at 7am and 6pm EST (changing to 9am & 6pm EDT) and in the USA was shown live at 1am, 5pm, and 10pm ET.

On air teamEdit

Person Position at Setanta Current position(s)
Matt Teale Presenter Freelance broadcast journalist ITV Central
Lisa Knights Presenter Freelance broadcast journalist with Sky News
Andy Kerr Presenter Presenter beIN Sports USA and Asia
Kelly Cates Presenter Presenter for ESPN's Football Coverage
Rachel Brookes Presenter Reporter for Sky Sports News
Murray Dron Presenter Freelance broadcast journalist
Charlotte Jackson Presenter Presenter for Sky Sports News
Rhodri Williams Presenter Presenter for Al Jazeera Sport FA Cup Europa League Matches
Ali Douglas Presenter Freelance broadcast journalist ITV News London
Ashley House Presenter Sports Presenter, Al Jazeera English
Mark McQuillan Freelance Presenter Presenter, ITV News Channel TV
Amelia Harris Freelance Presenter Sports Presenter, BBC News channel
Alexandra Hill Freelance Presenter Freelance broadcast journalist
Jackie Kabler Freelance Presenter
Sangeeta Kandola Freelance Presenter Presenter, 5 News
Sue Thearle Freelance News Presenter, BBC News channel/BBC World News
Faye Barker Freelance Presenter Newscaster with ITN's ITV London and ITV News
Steve Clamp Freelance Presenter Newscaster/Sports Correspondent, ITV Central
Steve Gaisford Freelance Presenter Runs online company
Chris Ford Reporter Football news reporter, Premier League Productions / Freelance broadcast journalist
David Chisnall Reporter Reporter, ITV Central Now at ITV Granada
Andrew Toft Reporter
Jamie Weir Reporter Reporter, Sky Sports News
Katie Bailey Reporter
Natalie Pirks Reporter Sports Reporter with ITV News
Zoe Gough Reporter Reporter for BBC Points West
David Warriner Reporter
Steven Godden Reporter


  1. ^ Setanta Sports News to shut down tonight Digital Spy, 23 June 2009
  2. ^ Setanta Sports News launch date announced Digital Spy, 5 November 2007
  3. ^ "Sports News is about to get an exciting new look". BroadcastNow. 12 September 2007. Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 12 September 2007.
  4. ^ "Setanta UK goes into administration". Irish Times. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  5. ^ Gibson, Owen (29 November 2007). "Setanta sports news trains its sights on Sky". London: Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2 January 2008.
  6. ^ Tryhorn, Chris (24 July 2007). "Setanta plans sports news channel". London: Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2 January 2008.
  7. ^ Setanta goes into administration The Guardian, 23 June 2009

External linksEdit