Setanta to return to the UK

The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has accepted applications from Setanta Sports Channel Ireland Limited and Setanta Radio Limited for the provision of two new satellite television services, Setanta Sports 1 and Setanta Sports. According to the BCI, Setanta Sports will broadcast live and delayed sporting events, mainly at weekends, and will target audiences in Ireland and the UK.

Setanta Sports 1 will be a subscription service that will broadcast live and delayed sports programmes, sports news and highlights programmes to Irish audiences.

Speaking at the contract signing of the two services on 27 July, BCI Chief Executive Michael O'Keeffe said: "these are positive developments for the Setanta companies ad for Irish broadcasting. Setanta has established itself as a key player in the broadcasting sector here and this new investment, coupled with the new channels, should secure its future in Ireland after a difficult number of months."

The BCI has also approved proposed changes in the ownership of Setanta Sports Channel Ireland Limited and Setanta Sports North America. Gaiety Investments is increasing its shareholding in Setanta Sports Channel Ireland Limited from 20% to 60%. The remaining 40% will be owned by a new company Sabloss Limited. The main shareholders in Sabloss are Michael O'Rourke, Leonard Ryan and Mark O'Meara. Sabloss has also purchased 100% of the shares in Setanta Sports North America Limited.

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