ITN has agreed a production deal for Setanta’s sports news channel which will see the creation of 56 jobs.
The move will see ITN expand its sports programming output and will lead to new editorial and production positions at its Grays Inn Road headquarters in central London.
The 24-hour Setanta Sports News channel, which will be jointly owned by Setanta Sports and Virgin Media, will launch on Virgin Media’s cable TV network later this year.
It will effectively replace Sky Sports News, which was pulled off the cable TV service along with Sky One and Sky News following a row between Virgin Media and BSkyB over carriage fees earlier this year.
The new channel will presenters and expert guests, while viewers will be encouraged to contribute via phone-ins, emails, blogs and competitions.
ITN will be responsible for all the daily editorial content and will work closely with Setanta Sports – which has the rights to exclusive live coverage of 46 Barclays Premier League matches a season and Scotland’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
The ITN chief executive, Mark Wood, said: “This new channel will set the sports news agenda in Britain with exclusive news, ground-breaking interviews and programmes which will be must-see television for sports fans everywhere.”
The channel will initially be available to Virgin Media’s 3 million digital cable TV subscribers across the UK and to a “wider base” in the early part of next year.
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