Virgin Media has announced a deal with Setanta to give customers on its top subscription package six free sports channels.
The move is the latest development in Virgin’s battle with Sky and follows BT’s earlier announcement that it will show Premiership matches on its new TV download service.
Customers signed up to Virgin’s premium XL package will get live coverage from 46 Barclays Premier League games, 60 matches from the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League and the US PGA Tour golf.
They will also have access to European League football, rugby and horse racing from around the country, as well as 25 of the 40 televised fixtures from the English FA Cup from 2008.
Customers of any other Virgin Media TV service who want to add these Setanta channels to their service will be able to do so for £8 a month.
Malcolm Wall, CEO of content for Virgin Media, said: ‘This deal will transform the world of TV sport and makes our XL TV package the best of its kind in the UK.
‘When we launched Virgin Media last February, we said we were going to shake things up, provide something unique and give our customers superior offerings. Today we’re making a down payment on our promise by giving our customers the very best sporting action combined with unbeatable value.
‘But this is only the beginning. In terms of both sport and other new high value content, there’s much more to come from Virgin Media.’
Customers can sign up to the new deal and find out more about Virgin Media by visiting its site or calling 0800 052 2525.
BT Vision Sport
The BT Vision Sport ‘near live’ service – which was announced on Monday – will allow fans to watch 242 Premier League matches per season and up to 125 Coca Cola League and Carling Cup games.
Fans can pay £1.99 to watch one of the 242 near-live matches or they can choose a subscription which includes all the action for £4 a month.
Viewers can also add on a package of live English and Scottish matches from Setanta Sports for a total cost of £12 a month.