Setanta warms up for next McGregor fight

3e has helped drum up Irish interest in mixed martial arts... but there’s a catch

Conor McGregor: adept at pre-fight ‘trash talk’. Photograph: David Sleator

Conor McGregor: adept at pre-fight ‘trash talk’. Photograph: David Sleator

 

TV3 Group isn’t the only broadcaster looking to pull in viewers via the mixed martial arts magic of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Setanta Sports, which distributes BT Sport in Ireland, plans to create some buzz around Irish UFC proponent Conor McGregor, who appears on the card in the marquee UFC 178 event on September 27th.

The only catch for Setanta is that, unlike the lower-prestige “Fight Night” broadcast on TV3 Group’s 3e channel in July, the UFC 178 extravaganza takes place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, meaning it will go out on BT Sport 1 from the witching hour of 3am.

Still, time zone issues aside, Setanta Sports marketing operations director Brian Quinn is pleased that the televising of McGregor’s appearance at Dublin’s O2 arena last month garnered the interest that it did.

“Now that UFC has been on 3e, a terrestrial channel, it creates demand for us,” he says. It also helps, of course, that McGregor happens to be adept at pre-fight “trash talk”.