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Setanta broke - any loss?


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I hate the Sky monopoly but this lot have done little to challenge it

Setanta board meeting could put company into administration

by Daniel Farey-Jones, Brand Republic 08-Jun-09, 09:20

LONDON - Setanta, the sports pay-TV broadcaster, may be forced to call in administrators this week depending on the outcome of a board meeting today.

The company last week missed a £3m payment to the Scottish Premier League, due as part of its £125m deal running until 2014.

It must also find around £30m to meet an installment due to the English Premier League before the end of the week.

It is believed the company will attempt to get backers Balderton Capital, Doughty Hanson and Goldman Sachs to provide the cash.

However, the plug could be pulled and Deloitte is on standby to act as administrator.

If Setanta follows the latter course the English Premier League, which according to The Guardian benefits along with the FA from shareholder guarantees ensuring they will be paid even if Setanta fails, could resell its TV rights.

This could allow Disney's ESPN or another broadcaster to pick up Setanta's 46 2009/10 Premier League games and the 23 games per season it bought the rights to for the following three seasons.

Setanta's long-term future has been in question since it lost one of its two packages of Premier League games to BSkyB in February, raising fears that subscribers will defect after the 2009/10 season.

The company is estimated to need 1.9m subscribers to break even, but currently has 1.2m.

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Personally, I think it would be a shame if they fail. I know that it is a pain having two pay to view sports packages but at the same time it does, at least in theory, create some competition. If you didn't want to subscribe to Sky then Setanta, as a stand alone package, does have a good portfolio of football and other sports which actually make it quite good value for money - particularly as you don't have to pay the basic Sky package to get access to it.

The problem seems to be that you have to be prepared to trade at a substantial loss for a long time before you can really get established and you need to obtain and keep hold of key rights such as the PL football.

Bottom line is that their shareholders aren't prepared to dig deep enough for long enough to make it work.

Maybe we will see ESPN have a go.

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Just let sky keep their monopoly going...makes life so much easier...and cheaper. At the end of the day, if you want a good, comprehensive tv service you go to sky, virgin and freeview are just not as good overall.

The fact that we have to pay an extra £10/month for Setanta is stupid. The element of competition is nowhere to be seen. Sky haven't lowered their prices and I don't see them doing so any time soon. The quality of Setanta's coverage and their pundits are disappointing as well.

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Just let sky keep their monopoly going...makes life so much easier...and cheaper. At the end of the day, if you want a good, comprehensive tv service you go to sky, virgin and freeview are just not as good overall.

The fact that we have to pay an extra £10/month for Setanta is stupid. The element of competition is nowhere to be seen. Sky haven't lowered their prices and I don't see them doing so any time soon. The quality of Setanta's coverage and their pundits are disappointing as well.

Thank you Rupert.

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This isn't good news for those of us in the US that use Setanta as another outlet to watch a good bulk of football games.

ESPN here won't show a PL game if their lives depended on it (they currently show CL games, but that's moving to Fox beginning next season I believe). Currently, I pay an extra $15/month for Setanta. If Setanta folds causing my provider to drop that channel, that leaves us with just Fox Soccer Channel as our only channel to catch PL football. I'm not sure what kind of deal Fox has with Sky, but I do see Sky's sports review on that channel quite a bit.

I will admit that Setanta has been a little disappointing at times, but it's certainly better then losing a decent portion of the games I watch throughout the season. :D

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i now prefer setanta's coverage to sky now. i used to think andy grey was the best pundit about but he is so far up steven gerrard's arse it is unreal. i've now stopped to listen to what he is saying and it is utter bullsh*t. the only thing sky have going for them is jamie redknapp. at least he knows how to be impartial

i like the setanta's commentary cause there's no back doors with burley. they do talk a bit of sense at times as well

and what about setanta sports news? stick that on for a while if you fancy a laugh. they get nothing right lol. well they didn't when it was 1st launched, i haven't watched it in a while

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i binned it ages ago, the slightest sign of moisture in the air and my signal would go to sh*t. i phoned up and they said they could boost the signal and charge me half for 3 months. a week later the signal was still sh*t so i told them to stuff it. but it was so friggin hard to cancel, eventually i just cancelled the direct debit.

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This isn't good news for those of us in the US that use Setanta as another outlet to watch a good bulk of football games.

ESPN here won't show a PL game if their lives depended on it (they currently show CL games, but that's moving to Fox beginning next season I believe). Currently, I pay an extra $15/month for Setanta. If Setanta folds causing my provider to drop that channel, that leaves us with just Fox Soccer Channel as our only channel to catch PL football. I'm not sure what kind of deal Fox has with Sky, but I do see Sky's sports review on that channel quite a bit.

I will admit that Setanta has been a little disappointing at times, but it's certainly better then losing a decent portion of the games I watch throughout the season. -_-

As a fellow north american (who doesnt have Setanta) I can sympathize with having to fork out so much and completely agree with wanting to see ESPN stay the hell away from football everywhere. Some of their paltry CL coverage is good, but as a fan of hockey I have seen how ESPN can marginalize a sport which isnt their main cash cow

I have Gol tv along with FSC, and while FSC is far from perfect, having Gol tv makes me cringe at times. Cutting off games abruptly before halftime. Terrible picture quality and sometimes sound quality. It makes ITV look like the BBC

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Crunch time

From TimesOnline

An emergency board meeting was held last night by directors desperate to stave off administration, with crisis talks continuing today. Leonard Ryan and Michael O’Rourke, the company’s two founders, are trying to organise a £100 million rescue after the collapse of a plan led by Doughty Hanson, a key shareholder.

Setanta stopped taking orders for new subscribers yesterday. Would-be subscribers on the broadcaster's website were flashed a message saying: “Oops! Something has gone wrong…â€

Sources close to the negotiations this morning described the situation as “extremely fluidâ€, with new proposals constantly emerging.

Setanta has been looking for additional capital to plug the funding gap created by its failure to retain its English Premier League rights packages beyond 2010. In April, Setanta held talks with private equity firms, including Carlyle, in a bid to raise up to £100 million, but in spite of trying for more than two months, it has fallen well short of its target.

An effort to secure a £50 million lifeline from BSkyB, the broadcaster whose majority shareholder is News International — parent company of The Times — failed this month. Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s chief executive, said yesterday it was a “broadcaster, not a bankâ€.

Setanta had asked Sky for £50 million in return for access to the 46 Premier League games the Irish broadcaster secured for next season.

Mr Darroch told a Sports Industry Group event in London yesterday: “Our job is not to fund other companies.

“We have been talking to Setanta, and trying to work with them and help them. At the end of the day we are not a bank, we are a broadcaster, not a supplier of working capital to a business and rights holder.

“This is a huge amount of money.â€

A Sky source added: “We’ve heard rumours that there will be a crunch meeting today to decide the fate of Setanta. We are watching with interest.â€

ESPN, the American sports broadcaster controlled by Disney, may take over the rights to show Premier League matches if Setanta goes into administration, although efforts to involve ESPN are thought to have been unsuccessful.

Setanta was forced to deny that it would go off the air at the end of broadcasting last night, but there remained speculation that staff could be told this morning that the broadcaster had fallen into the hands of administrators.

The company has been teetering on the brink of administration since the weekend, with Deloitte, one of the company’s advisers, on standby to take over as administrators.

Having failed to pay £3 million to the Scottish Premier League, the struggling broadcaster now faces a £30 million payment to the FA Premier League next week.

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Crunch time

From TimesOnline

An emergency board meeting was held last night by directors desperate to stave off administration, with crisis talks continuing today. Leonard Ryan and Michael O’Rourke

I don't remember The Wrestler starring an Irishman...

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i had setanta for a while for the rangers games but there coverage was awful and and that john hartson is so biased and when we cancelled it,it was a pain in the arse they couldnt just cut us off straight away ,we had to write a letter to get it cancelled.there service was rubbish

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