Ever wonder why Setanta Sports doesn’t offer a 16×9 widescreen format of its channel for viewers in the United States? EPL Talk Reader Martin Day had that question. Here’s what he wrote:
Setanta Sports has gone to a 16:9 widescreen format thereby making the highlights near impossible to watch as they compress/crop it to 4:3 here – I know they also transmit the games in the UK & Eire in 16:9 format – and crop for the US. Can you get in touch with someone at Setanta Sports to see if we can get an official word on broadcasting 16:9 here? Surely we’re at the point where most TVs are 16:9 now – especially in pubs etc.
Here’s the response from Setanta Sports:
There’s no such broadcasting format in the USA as 16:9 Standard Definition. All USA Standard Definition broadcasting must be in 4:3. It cannot be 16:9.
The only broadcast format in the USA that can be 16:9 is High Definition. So we have two choices in the USA/CAN:
Standard Definition 4:3 (what we are currently doing) OR High Definition 16:9. Naturally only 2-5% of our programming is even available in HD and our channel is SD so HD is a ways off.
Setanta Sports added that they’re having some issues with Setanta Sports News as they change formats but it should be sorted soon.