Irelands Setanta Sports Poised to Become Mobile Network

Setanta-SportsIrish sports broadcaster Setanta Sports is in discussion with mobile network Three Ireland to create a mobile virtual network on the back of Three Irelands existing infrastructure.

According to the Irish Times, the two companies have been in talks for several months and Setanta is aiming to launch as as MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) before the end of the year. The mobile network would sit within a group of products Setanta plans to offer, including TV, phone and mobile broadband.

The mobile network would include Setanta Go, an app and online player that will serve as a second screen for subscribers to Setantas sports channels, or a standalone streaming service for those who only use the phone network. The app will deliver all five Setanta and BT Sport channels through live-streaming, and would integrate Setantas online betting service, offering in-play betting odds and more.

Setanta has hired Leo Hassett, former head of mobile business development at Eircom, to advise on its MVNO plans. If it does enter the mobile market, it will be joining one of the most competitive sectors in Ireland, with Three and O2 readying to merge following approval from the European Commission. Once merged, the resulting company will have a 37 per cent market share.