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Virgin Media and Setanta Sports unveil ground-breaking TV sports package

  • Action-packed Setanta Sports channels to be included in basic TV package for first time
  • Combination of quality and value sets Virgin Media's TV service apart from the competition
  • Makes Virgin Media best place to watch all the action from the Barclays Premier League


Virgin Media and Setanta Sports today announced plans to transform the TV market by giving new and existing customers who take Virgin Media's XL basic TV package six Setanta Sports Channels1 for free.

The innovative and revolutionary deal means that, from the 26th July, pay TV customers and sports enthusiasts will for the first time get a round-the-clock diet of top flight sporting action without having to buy a separate sports package.

Customers will get live coverage from over 250 showcase events a year, among them some of the biggest occasions in the sporting calendar. These will include 46 live games from the Barclays Premier League, 60 matches from the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League and the US PGA Tour golf, as well as European League football, rugby and horse racing from around the country. From 2008, customers will also get 25 of the 40 televised fixtures from the English FA Cup, a selection of England football Internationals and the Community Shield.

Over the course of a year, diehard football fans who want all the live televised matches from the Barclay's Premier League will pay over £110 less with Virgin Media than they would with Sky. Following changes in the ownership of broadcast rights, the deal also means that, from the start of the new football season, Virgin Media will be the only provider to offer all these matches under a single contract.

The combination of great content and unbeatable value will help make Virgin Media's XL package the UK's best quality TV offer. This package is not a one-off promotional or introductory offer and will form part of Virgin Media's TV offer on an ongoing basis. Customers of any other Virgin TV service who want to add these Setanta channels to their service will be able to do so for just £8 a month.

Commenting on the deal, Malcolm Wall, chief executive officer of content for Virgin Media, said: “This deal will transform the world of TV sport and makes our XL TV package the best of its kind in the UK.

“When we launched Virgin Media in February, we said we were going to shake things up, provide something unique and give our customers superior offerings. Today we're making a down payment on our promise by giving our customers the very best sporting action combined with unbeatable value. But this is only the beginning. In terms of both sport and other new high value content, there's much more to come from Virgin Media.”

Michael O'Rourke, co-founder of Setanta Sports, said: “This deal emphasises Setanta's determination to make premium sports content available to as many people as possible, at the best value possible.

“Virgin Media's XL customers will be absolutely delighted to get our sports channels for no additional charge. They will receive 46 exclusively live Premier League games, 60 Scottish Premier League games and all the live US PGA Tour Golf. It is compelling viewing for all sports fans, and the addition of the FA Cup and England internationals next year will make it even better.”

Notes to editors

1 Setanta Sports 1, Setanta Sports 2, Setanta Golf, Racing UK, Celtic TV and Rangers TV

New season price comparison:


Virgin Media

TV size: M


Virgin Media

TV size: L


Virgin Media

TV size: XL

Total cost £34 £44.99 £43.50 £45.99 £38.50 £47.99

Basic TV +

Sky Sports

£26 £35 £35.50 £36 £38.50 £38



£8 £9.99 £8 £9.99 Free £9.99

£113.88 for the

first 12 months


£29.88 for the

first 12 months


£113.99 for the

first 12 months



All Virgin Media packages are subject to customers taking a Virgin Media phone line (from £11 a month)
The prices above are for payment by Direct Debit only.

About Setanta Sports

Setanta Sports is a leading international pay-TV sports broadcaster operating ten channels in the UK, Ireland, North America and Australia. Founded in 1992, its premium sports content is available to more than 50 million digital homes worldwide. Setanta operates more sports channels than any other broadcaster in the UK and Ireland and, from this August, Setanta will broadcast the first of its 46 Barclays Premier League in the UK.