Setanta Sports News
United Kingdom
Picture format16:9, 576i (SDTV)
OwnerVirgin Media Television
Setanta Sports
Sister channelsArsenal TV
Celtic TV
ESPN America
Racing UK
Racing World
Rangers TV
Setanta Sports 1
Setanta Sports 2
Setanta Golf
Setanta Ireland
Launched29 November 2007
Closed23 June 2009[1]

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.

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, which also played 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. Media sources claimed that Setanta News was 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.

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 to secure new funding collapsed. Setanta Sports News closed on the same day, at 18:00, with 60 staff made redundant.[7]

International coverage

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 team

Person Position at Setanta Current position(s)
Matt Teale Presenter Co-presenter on ITV News Meridian
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 Reporter ITV News
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 and ITV News
Sue Thearle Freelance News Presenter, BBC News channel/BBC World News
Faye Barker Freelance Presenter Presenter, ITV News London and ITV News
Steve Clamp Freelance Presenter Presenter, ITV News Central
Steve Gaisford Freelance Presenter Runs online company
Chris Ford Reporter Football news reporter, Premier League Productions / Freelance broadcast journalist
David Chisnall Reporter Reporter, Now at ITV News Granada
Andrew Toft Reporter
Jamie Weir Reporter Reporter, Sky Sports News
Katie Bailey Reporter
Natalie Pirks Reporter Sports Reporter with BBC News
Zoe Gough Reporter Reporter for BBC Points West
David Warriner Reporter
Steven Godden Reporter Reporter, BBC Scotland


  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