Setanta set to launch Arsenal FC digital TV channel on satellite

Setanta Sports, the pay-TV sports broadcaster, is launching a branded digital television channel with Arsenal Football Club.

The pair are in final negotiations over the deal, which will see the club become the latest Premier League side to launch a fan-based channel.

Rival clubs Chelsea and Mancester United already have cable and satellite channels and Liverpool FC is launching a service in the autumn (MW April 19).

LFC TV will be distributed exclusively in the UK and Ireland through Setanta and will be added to the Setanta Sports Pack on satellite for no extra charge to subscribers.

It is thought a similar three-year deal is being sought with Arsenal. An industry insider says the club has already received a budget to provide programming and content for the service.

Arsenal already offers a TV-style service over broadband but was granted a television broadcast license for Arsenal TV in May this year.

Setanta already distributes channels for Glasgow teams Rangers and Celtic. It is also believed to be in talks with a number of other football teams about TV services.

Setanta has launched an aggressive marketing campaign to support it subscription packages, which include live Premier League football for the first time this season breaking rival BSkyB’s stranglehold on the rights.

It is targeting existing Sky Sports subscribers to bolt on its subscription, which costs up to £9.99 a month as well as new sports customers. It is understood that Setanta hopes that fan-based channels and services will differentiate its offering.

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