Setanta to add BT Sport, including 38 Barclay Premier League games to line-up

24 Jun 20132 Shares

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Pictured: Austin Healey and Michael Owen, two commentators on BT Sport, at Grand Canal Dock earlier today

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A new deal struck between BT Sport and Setanta Sports will see 38 additional Barclays Premier League games added to Setanta Sports’ existing 33 games through the arrival of BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN on Setanta’s line-up.

BT Sport acquired the UK and Ireland rights to 38 Barclays Premier League games, including 28 Saturday games.

This is the first time that these top pick games won’t be on Sky Sports.

“This content is a real game changer for Setanta,” explained Brian Quinn, marketing operations director for Setanta Sports.

“It’s not just going from 33 to 71 Premier League games that is exciting, it is the massive step-up in the quality of games that will really make the difference for our customers. The new games from BT include 18 top pick matches, meaning that we will have top of the table clashes between the leading teams. Also, having the channels available to our customers in HD is a great addition.”

Earlier this year, BT acquired the rights to the ESPN channel in the UK and Ireland.

The deal means Setanta Sports subscribers on satellite in the Republic of Ireland will receive the BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN channels from 1 August.

Other top live sports, including FA Cup, Scottish Premier League, Bundesliga, Aviva Premiership and UFC will now form part of the Setanta pack.

A total of 18 of these games are top pick games, meaning that BT Sport has the right to choose the highest-profile fixtures. This is the first time that these top pick games won’t be on Sky Sports. Earlier this year, BT acquired the rights to the ESPN channel in the UK and Ireland.

“Ireland is a very important market for us and we are confident that Setanta can do a great job establishing the BT Sport brand with Irish sports fan,” said Marc Watson, CEO of TV for BT.

“BT Sport offers some of the very best live football and rugby action. We’ve signed up some of the world’s biggest football stars, like Gareth Bale and Rio Ferdinand, as well as top presenters, such as Jake Humphrey, Lawrence Dallaglio and Clare Balding, to make BT Sport unmissable for sports fans. With Setanta’s existing content, we think BT Sport and Setanta sports will be a winning combination.”

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com