Setanta enters price war with Sky over football

From Guardian Unlimited
Pay-TV group Setanta has slashed the price of its sports offering to £9.99 a month ahead of the launch of its live Premiership football coverage, ramping up the pressure on rival BSkyB.

Satellite and Freeview viewers will be able to access the Setanta service for £9.99, although Virgin Media cable TV subscribers do not currently qualify for the same deal and will continue to pay £15 a month.

The new price – disclosed on the company’s website today – represents a £6 discount on the previous cost of Setanta’s nine-channel offering on the Sky Digital satellite service.

It also shaves a pound off the fee Freeview customers have been paying since the Setanta Sports channel launched on the digital terrestrial TV service on March 1.

Customers who access Setanta’s three-channel broadband service will continue to pay £7.99 a month.

Setanta’s move comes ahead of the new football season, which starts on August 11.

Setanta signalled its desire to become a serious rival to Sky by snatching the rights to US PGA golf from its competitor.

It has also secured the TV rights to the FA Cup and England home internationals in a joint four-year deal with ITV that will come into force next August.

Separately, Virgin Media has signed a deal with the Football League to show on-demand highlights of Coca-Cola Championship, League 1 and League 2 games on its broadband and mobile platforms.

The agreement, the first of its kind for Virgin, will run for two seasons and begins at the start of the new season.

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