Arsenal TV was a sports television channel devoted to coverage of the English football club Arsenal. It was a part of the Setanta Sports package and was similar to other Setanta’s other channels Celtic TV, Rangers TV and LFC TV.
Arsenal TV officially launched on 14 January 2008 on Sky Channel 423, however the channel was being tested on Sky for several days beforehand. Arsenal TV was available as a part of the Setanta Sports pack on Sky until 23 June 2009. The channel remained available to ex-Setanta Sports subscribers until it closed.
Arsenal TV joined Virgin Media on 18 March 2008 after a successful campaign by the club to get the channel on the service; it was available as part of the Setanta Sports package or TV Size XL.
On 17 March 2008, a first timeshift channel called Arsenal Replay was added to Sky Channel 424 (which later moved to 448) and aired from 1.30am to 7.45am. On 27 March 2009, it was removed from the EPG.
On 12 May 2008, a second timeshift channel called AH TV was added to Sky Channel 454, and aired the same times as Arsenal Replay, however they broadcast on different days from each other, but still showed the same programming from earlier in the day from channel 435. On 28 April 2009, it was removed from the EPG.
The TV channel screened on Monday to Fridays: 4.30pm – 2am and Sunday: 6pm – 2am.
On 23 June 2009, Setanta Sports entered administration and ceased broadcasting its core channels. Arsenal announced that Arsenal TV would continue broadcasting in the short term but that the club would evaluate its long-term viability. On 22 July 2009, Setanta Sports administrators Deloitte announced that they would sell Setanta Sports’ Sky Digital EPG slots through Canis Media, including Arsenal TV’s slot on channel 435.
On 31 July 2009, Arsenal announced that as a result of Setanta Sports going into administration, Arsenal TV would no longer be available on the Sky platform until further notice. Since Setanta ceased to broadcast, the club had explored alternative options regarding the future of Arsenal TV. However, for the short term, Arsenal TV will be exclusively available online through Arsenal Player. All of Arsenal’s friendly matches prior to the 2009-10 season would be shown exclusively on Arsenal TV Online apart from the Emirates Cup.
On 4 August 2009, Arsenal TV was removed from Virgin Media channel 542 and replaced with an on-screen slate citing that Arsenal TV had ceased broadcasting. On 6 August 2009, Arsenal TV went blank on Sky channel 435, after carrying a similar on-screen closure message during the channel’s downtime since 4 August. It was then removed from the Sky EPG on 7 August 2009.
Arsenal TV has a studio at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. Starting with the 2008/09 season, Arsenal allowed the Setanta Sports boxing production team to use the Emirates Stadium studio for boxing coverage where there is a studio clash between that and the live golf shown on Setanta Golf. Both required a studio but Input Media only had one. The first Setanta boxing event to use Arsenal’s studio was Wladimir Klitschko v Tony Thompson on 12 July 2008.
The channel featured:
- Replays of every Arsenal FC match in all competitions, including post match coverage and analysis
- Exclusive interviews with staff and players
- Live coverage of Arsenal Reserves and first-team friendly matches
- Highlights of Arsenal Academy and Arsenal Ladies matches
- Arsenal-related news
- Highlights of classic matches
- Documentaries based on the club’s history