Cable operator Virgin Media is reportedly in talks with Irish pay-TV group Setanta aimed at launching a channel to rival Sky Sports News. According to Broadcast magazine, the talks follow the loss of Sky's basic channels—which include Sky Sports News, as well as Sky News and Sky One—on cable at the beginning of March after Virgin Media and Sky failed to agree a carriage fee deal.
A Setanta source was quoted by Broadcast as saying the tie-up made "a lot of sense". "Setanta has the rights to 46 Premiership matches for the next season and has launched a golf channel, so launching a news channel would be a perfect way in for Virgin Media. The two companies already have a good relationship in place."
Setanta and Virgin Media are not commenting on the story.
Virgin Media and Setanta joined up with BT and Top Up TV in making a submission to media regulator Ofcom which this week announced an investigation into the UK's pay-TV market. Ofcom said its probe would include the full pay-TV market, taking in satellite, cable, digital terrestrial and IPTV, and would focus on "control over content, ownership of distribution platforms, retail subscriber bases and vertical integration".
Links open in a new window. The DTG is not responsible for the content of other web sites.