Setanta Sports Experience Not Optimal for ITVN & DISH Subscribers


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.

9 thoughts on “Setanta Sports Experience Not Optimal for ITVN & DISH Subscribers”

  1. “Inability to record matches for later viewing”? I regularly record Setanta broadcasts matches with my DVD recorder (w/hard drive).

    OK, so it’s not as dummy-proof as a Tivo-like device but it’s eminently do-able.

    The real issue is whether ITVN’s network will hiccup & toss you off, requiring you to re-connect. If so & you’re not home then you end up recording ITVN’s screensaver for the remainder of the match.

    With five networks connect options now (up from 2 when I first subscribed) available we can hope that this issue is consigned to the dustbin of history.

    Anyway, I’m just burning off my one-year commitment. I’ve already subscribed through DISH Network. ITVN was a decent stopgap measure but even its best picture quality is poor compared to FSC or GolTV.

    And you really don’t want reception of the big match to depend on the not-always reliable internet. I’ll take rain fade over the vagaries of a ‘net connection any day.

  2. Setanta Extra did NOT show Wigan V Liverpool game on Saturday. It only appeared on regular Setanta at 9pm Eastern. The broadcast was totally botched by Setanta. About 2 minutes into the match the picture cut away to the Setanta logo.When the game reappeared after about 15 seconds it did not go back to where it was at the start of the game, it came back at the start of the 2nd half. At the end of the game Setanta went ahead & showed the 2nd half again….NICE ONE Setanta!

  3. I’m not feeling the lack of Setanta Xtra. Between FSC and Setanta (on Dish) there’s more EPL than I can watch live already (Saturday morning I had two games on P-in-P with the sounds down low while listening to the Swindon game over the internet).

    If there is a game I want to see, I’ll just avoid scores until the repeat comes on Setanta’s main channel, which is easy to do in the States, as the local news tends not to feature EPL results …

  4. There is another option, as Setanta Broadband has live EPL games and they showed the Liverpool game live. Also, Setanta Broadband has an On-Demand Feature.

  5. Setanta had announced both Pompey-L’pool and Wigan-L’pool on Xtra and showed NONE. Disgrace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. My building subscribes exclusively to Dish Network, but there’s something about our particular dish that makes it not receive Setanta. We got a free preview the month I moved in, but now it’s gone and I can’t get it back no matter who I talk to.

  7. We’re pretty well married to cable with high speed internet and longtime email addresses. I get FSC in a $5/month “sports package” that gets me several channels (of which I only watch FSC). Is Setanta making any effort to be carried over cable in the U.S.? Based on the $5 I pay for FSC, and the $15 I shell out for Setanta via ITVN, you’d think Comcast and other cable companies could come up with a package that includes Setanta *and* Setanta Extra for a price that makes them money and people will line up to pay.

  8. To anonymous at 11:30 pm:

    ITVN at one time did have an on demand feature. However legalities stopped them from keeping the feature as they did not have the on demand rights to the majority of their programming.


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