For what is suppose to be a pay-tv service, Setanta is becoming a favorite option for television providers looking to offer an cheap incentive for customers.
Top Up TV, a subscription service that offers on-demand programming alongside the Freeview TV platform, has announced today that it’s offering Setanta Sports 1 free for the 2008/2009 EPL season to new customers who buy one of Top Up’s digital recorder boxes. The box sells for either 90 or 100 pounds depending on recording space, and there’s also a 20 pound connection fee charged to all customers who take any service. People who already have Top Up TV can sign up for three free months of Setanta, but can’t take part in the full season offer.
This is the third bundling deal Setanta has reached with television providers in the UK. Last year, Virgin Media began offering Setanta to customers who sign up for it’s XL cable TV package. And just last month, BT Vision announced it will be offering Setanta as part of any package starting at 14 pounds a month.
Again, Setanta is being offered by a UK TV service as an alternative against the giant elephant that is Sky Sports. And for Setanta, gaining any visibility against Sky is needed. But Setanta doesn’t get as much money from bundled customers compared to those who sign up directly. Reports suggest Setanta only receives 2.50 pounds per bundled customer per month on Virgin Media compared to 11 pounds per month via direct subscription thru Freeview. For a company which has never turned a profit, Setanta’s need for higher paying subscribers is clear. Will these trades of viewers for money be able to secure Setanta’s future? For now, the answer isn’t clear. But for fans who want to see the Premier League, such deals does make life a little bit easier.