The recent deal between Setanta Sports and DISH Network gave the Irish broadcaster the potential to almost double its audience. With DirecTV and DISH Network offering Setanta Sports, the company has made a giant leap forward to getting into more homes throughout the United States.
The challenge, however, is that not everyone has satellite (either by choice or if they live in an area where they’re prevented from having a dish). The stop gap measure for many has been to resort to ITVN, the IPTV company that allows you to view Setanta Sports over your broadband internet connection via a box that’s connected to your TV set.
So while more people can access Setanta Sports than before, the experience still isn’t optimal for DISH Network and ITVN customers for the following reasons:
1) Both DISH Network and ITVN do not have access to Setanta Xtra, the “overflow” channel that’s only available via DirecTV that shows additional matches to the ones that appear on the regular Setanta Sports channel in the United States.
While this isn’t the end of the world, it can be annoying for those fans who want to have the choice of deciding which games to watch especially if your favorite team is being shown on Setanta Xtra and not the traditional Setanta channel. For example, Liverpool fans without Setanta Xtra will have been disappointed that they missed the match shown on the channel against Wigan this past Saturday.
2) One of the most frustrating disadvantages of ITVN is the inability to record matches for later viewing. While this may not be as big an issue for Saturday and Sunday matches, it does become extremely problematic for matches shown during midweek while many people in the United States are at 9-5 jobs while matches are being shown.
This week is a perfect example of this where Setanta Sports, which now has the rights to show the Monday matches instead of Fox Soccer Channel, will be showing the Spurs against Aston Villa match. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the channel will be showing key matches from the Champions League.
With DISH Network, you can record matches just as easily as you can with DirecTV.
If you those two above issues don’t concern you, then the DISH Network and ITVN may be convenient choices for you. If you’re interested in signing up for DISH Network to get Setanta Sports, go here — or go here to sign up for ITVN.
But right now, the optimal experience for enjoying Setanta Sports belongs to DirecTV viewers who are able to get Setanta Sports, Setanta Xtra as well as the convenience of being able to DVR or record matches.
Unfortunately, the outlook for DISH Network and ITVN solving the issues mentioned above any time soon is very slim.