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March 31, 2009

Setanta scores new IPTV system

Monitoring rival channels to improve scheduling

By Steve Evans

Sports broadcaster Setanta has implemented a network-based IPTV system at its new London headquarters to enable the company to show live and recorded television coverage on desktop and wall-mounted TV sets.

The company behind the implementation, Exterity, says that the broadcaster will be using the new IPTV platform to monitor its own TV shows as well as coverage from competitors, enabling the company to improve its scheduling.

Content will also be recorded to be shown at a later date on Setanta’s website. The new platform will also enable the company’s online journalists to monitor the latest news, meaning they can post more timely copy to their website.

The system was installed by systems integrator Klicktv. It uses the existing IP network, which means the cost of implementation is reduced as no new cabling was required at the company’s headquarters in Chiswick, west London.

Colin Farquhar, Exterity CEO said: “Moving offices is a very expensive process at the best of times, and when re-cabling is added to this, costs can mount up. Setanta made a wise choice with IPTV as it uses the existing IP network and so reduced the infrastructure costs for the new office. In addition, IPTV is easy to manage and infinitely scalable. Additional TVs or PCs can be to be added to the network without the need for further cabling, enabling Setanta’s IPTV solution to accommodate them as they grow.”

Chris Pearson, IT and facilities manager at Setanta, said that the new system is more reliable and of higher quality than the previous platform.

Having previously used an RF system, we were keen to move away from this format as it was not reliable and could not meet our requirements, given the size of the offices,” he said. “The signal would ghost due to long runs across our 22,000 sq ft site, whereas IPTV does not suffer from this.  It’s a more dependable picture at a higher quality.”

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Setanta has seen huge growth in the UK over the last few years. In 2006 it won one of the contracts to show live Premier League football. The broadcaster paid £392m for the right to show 46 league matches a season on a subscription basis.

More recently it has also won contracts to show live England international football matches, live coverage of the FA Cup and the Scottish Premier League. It also shows golf, boxing and cricket.

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