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Setanta Sports News launch date announced

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Setanta Sports and Virgin Media have announced that their joint-venture sports news channel will launch on November 29.

The 24-hour channel, which will be produced by ITN, will be available on Virgin cable in the basic TV pack and free-to-air on digital satellite.

"This channel represents a new age for sports fans in this country," said Virgin Media CEO of content Malcolm Wall. "We're confident the energy will provide a fresh approach to sports news in the UK and by putting fans at the very heart of the channel, we think it will give us an edge with viewers."

Virgin Media has prioritised the launch of a sports news service since Sky Sports News was withdrawn from its digital cable service earlier this year as part of a wider carriage dispute with Sky.

Setanta Sports News will offer sports headlines every 20 minutes interspersed with debate segments and reports from "fan correspondents".

Geoff Hill, the channel's editor in chief, explained: "We want Setanta Sports News to be fun and engaging for the nation's sports fans. Viewers will get the sports news that matters delivered in a thorough, concise and accurate way, but this channel will be much more than a rolling sports news service - we want the added value of passionate input from fans. We aim to be alongside them at every major sporting event in the UK."

Setanta Sports News will appear on Virgin channel 518. An EPG position on digital satellite has yet to be confirmed.

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