EPL Games Temporarily Return to Setanta Sports USA


Setanta Sports USA will televise two high-profile Premier League games this weekend, according to its website, which was updated late Friday.

Both the Arsenal versus Everton (Saturday, 10am ET) and West Ham versus Wolves (Sunday, 8:25am ET) games will be shown on Setanta USA, as long as mother nature cooperates and the games aren’t postponed due to the adverse weather conditions in England. UPDATE: West Ham United against Wolves has been postponed due to the weather, so only Arsenal versus Everton will be shown.

The news will come as welcome relief for anxious soccer fans in the United States who have this week been looking forward to watching Landon Donovan’s debut for Everton. Fox Soccer Channel, meanwhile, will show Birmingham City versus Manchester United at 12:30pm ET, weather permitting.

Sources confirmed to EPL Talk on Friday that executives from both Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports were involved in continued discussions for Fox to acquire Setanta Sports. However, as of Friday afternoon, Fox has yet to announce whether an agreement has been made.

Earlier this week, Setanta removed all mention of the Premier League from its website and TV listings. Thankfully for Premier League fans in the United States, the two games have been added back to the Setanta TV listings. No future Premier League games have been added to the TV listings, so Setanta may have a weekend reprieve while negotiations presumably continue.

For more coverage about Fox Soccer Channel’s discussions with Setanta Sports, be sure to read our articles about Fox acquiring the service mark to Fox Soccer Plus, and an opinion article discussing how Setanta’s likely demise could be a dark day for soccer fans.

UPDATE: Setanta Sports has now added more Premier League to it’s TV schedule posted on its website. The games on Saturday, January 16 feature Manchester United v Burnley, Tottenham v Hull City and Wolves v Wigan, as well as one game on Sunday, January 17 featuring Aston Villa v West Ham United.

53 thoughts on “EPL Games Temporarily Return to Setanta Sports USA”

  1. At least I’ll have a better chance at finding a stream now. Stupid Setanta. Hopefully Fox gets those games on a more accessible channel soon.

  2. Elsewhere someone mentioned that ESPN sub-licenses from Setanta USA.

    Is that true, and if so, will they have a match this weekend ?

  3. Bummer… I was hoping to see the Arsenal game on FSC or another non-subscription based channel tomorrow.

    The acquisition and the results thereof can’t come soon enough. Hopefully discussions between the two continue throughout and/or after the weekend.

  4. A caveat; the Premier League website states that the Wigan game on the FSC sheedule is subject to a DW pitch inspection at 8:30 am (GMT) Saturday – the underground heating system failed at 5 pm Friday and it is now up to the referee to decide whether the pitch is playable or too frozen.
    Accordingly it is possible FSC will have no game to broadcast at 10:00 am EST Saturday as all other EPL games are posponed.
    Now if FSC loses that Wigan Aston Villa game then just maybe FSC will recover the Arsenal game from Setanta (which is understood to be in default under its sub-license agreement) and show the Arsenal game itself assuming that that game is not also canceled.

    1. ESPN2 was scheduled to show tomorrow’s Chelsea/Hull game at 7:45 a.m. est, but the game as been postponed. They will likely revert back to hunting/fishing shows during tomorrow’s timeslot.

  5. I have setanta and fsc, but I recently learned that my PS3 with the internet browser is the BEST thing in the world for watching a game online. No more staring at the computer screen.

    1. Many (most ?) recent PCs and laptops have a DVI and/or HDMI output that can plug into your HD TV in exactly the same way as a PS3.

  6. Thanks for the update, Gaffer. Hopefully something will be worked out “longer term” and I’ll continue to be $15 poorer each month.

    1. I agree. The $15 is well worth it over the course of a month. Especially with Champion’s League. Let hope it continues to grow and thrive.

  7. thanks for the breaking news gaffer. i was hoping the game would be postponed if there was not going to be live coverage, but now i’m obviously hoping it is played as scheduled

  8. Good news I have only setanta sports and i was about to call my sateliite company and cancel it,but there still might be hope and setanta can be even as it was in the 08/09 season.

  9. Just got home, checked the FIOS guide and saw the games there and thought “what happened?” Disappointed that so many other games had to be cancelled due to weather, but hopeful that when they are rescheduled some extra station: Setanta or FSC+ is around to carry them.

    Even at 2 matches a weekend, that’s less than $2 per game on SD, which is better than internet and, hey, was good enough for 50+ years. And that doesn’t include FA, Carling, UEFA, Russian league, Championship, etc. etc. I’m amazed how many weekends I have the opportunity to watch every EPL game (live or delayed). I’m amazed my DVR hasn’t died from overwork.

    Now watch Donovan not even make an appearance, haha.

  10. Did the talks suddenly break down or something? How come Setanta is able to, or rather, is allowed to show these EPL matches again after being unable to pay for the sub-license for 2010?

    I thought that they may have given them another weekend while the acquisition talks were still ongoing but now that another weekend was apparently added, there appears to be more to the story…

    Where’s the press release respectively announcement from either FSI or Setanta US about this? It’s all just kind of happening, mainly on TV schedules, without any official word.

    1. Civrock, good questions. They’re still in talks but not releasing any information probably until “the ink is dried” if/when they sign an agreement.

      If/when everything is agreed, Fox will officially announce the news via a press release.

      The Gaffer

      1. I suspect that Setanta Sports North America Ltd. had to cough up a little bit of money to FSI in order get 2 weeks of EPL matches back on the Setanta Sports USA TV channel.

        FSI really has no choice but to take whatever money it can get from Setanta Sports North America for the EPL sublicense through May 2010. Why? It should be obvious by now that ESPN, Inc. isn’t willing to sublicense any more soccer TV products from FSI for the rest of the 2009-2010 EPL season.

        (I am assuming that the UEFA CL sublicense is gone because at most 2 games will be played simultaneously for the rest of the sesaon, and FSI has FSC and FSE available in addition to FSN on Tuesday.)

        One possible outcome I can forsee: NewsCorp (R. Murdoch) can choose to drag this out through May 2010 as long as Setanta Sports North America Ltd. pays some money to FSI for the EPL matches on a week-to-week or month-to-month basis, and then walk away from the negotiations table with Setanta Sports North America Ltd. once the EPL sublicense expires in May 2010, if NewsCorp does NOT really want to buy the Setanta Sports USA TV channel business.

        1. that makes NO SENSE.. why would an operation on the verge of bankruptcy buy time for another two weeks…

          if they are in that bad of a shape the would just fold.. end of story..

          more speculation and innuendo..

          there is NOTHING to show that the EPL rights sublicensed to setanta are back w/ FSI… if there — show me where?


          1. Cantona:

            > that makes NO SENSE.. why would an operation on the verge of bankruptcy buy time for another two weeks…

            Setanta Sports North America Limited is making a “Hail Mary” play to try to sell the entire Setanta Sports USA business to FSI.

            There is no way Setanta North America will allow most of its 65000 Setanta Sports USA residential subscribers to unsubscribe en masse in the near term as long as Setanta North America is talking to FSI regarding a buyout.

            If Setanta Sports USA were to drop EPL, it will likely lose as many as 50,000 subscribers. That will devalue the Setanta Sports USA business.

            With that said, I do NOT believe it makes any sense for FSI to buy Setanta Sports USA. FSI is better off in my opinion to let Setanta Sports USA die before starting another soccer-centric channel in the U.S.

  11. Nice article on Yahoo! Sports citing EPL Talk concerning this issue.


    It basically says FSI is negotiating a purchase of Setanta or many of its soccer rights, a possible prelude to launching the company’s second all-soccer network in the US.

    Negotiations were ongoing and could be completed within days, the person said Friday.

    The Web site EPL Talk, which first reported on the talks, said this week that a Fox company had obtained a trademark for the name “Fox Soccer Plus.”

    1. Ngog, nice article (EPL Talk was mentioned in an AP story, which has so far been picked up USA Today, Newsday, Yahoo and others). However, it took the AP five days to write the story that I covered on Monday. And the AP story is out-of-date now and doesn’t include the latest EPL Talk scoop about the games being back on Setanta. Oh well ; )

      The Gaffer

    1. Couple of weeks ago, when Fio-Milan was cancelled, they just announced that it’s postponed due to a weather conditions and replayed some of the old stuff. Surely same thing’s gonna happen today.

  12. Well ESPN2 give us the delights of fishing – and dread to think what FSC will show – but hopefully the Man United game will still be played – salvage something of this Saturday anyway – just hope Fox Soccer Channel get the rights back from Setanta and show them on the 2nd channel – so we get to see more Man United games

      1. And an assist from Donovan from a corner! Beautiful ball sent in from Donovan headed in by Leon Osman to put Everton ahead of Arsenal 1-0. What an unreal first contribution in the first 12 minutes of the game against a Big Four team.

        1. And an assist from Donovan for the Arsenal goal – lost the ball, failed to win it back. Beautiful corner? Just a high lump into the box which Arsenal all looked at… how the hell Arsenal are level I dont know as they have been dreadful.

  13. Even the commentators have been impressed by Donovan. He has played quite well for her first game in a few months and to go from Home Depot Center to the Emirates that’s quite a jump and he has handled it well.

  14. Overall Donovan had a very good game, bit surprised Moyes took him off actually as anyone playing Traore today would have been desperate to stay on. Donovan didnt look tired to me. Definitely at fault for the first Arsenal goal was Donovan but otherwise was very impressive. Be interesting to see how he does against sides not populate by dwarves as that was always the questionmark against him coming to England – the physical side.

    hell of a 2 hours that – disappointed not to have won but we didnt really deserve to. Madness.

  15. Thanks for the good news this morning. I am amazed FSI actually let this game show on Setanta rather then on there channel. FSC was showing a replay of some Italian game.

  16. During halftime of the Arsenal game, did anyone else notice the FSC commercial? Not sure if this is a hint or not, but it just seemed a little odd given all the talk but no confirmation (yet).

    1. Gaffer, I can’t see Fox charging an additional $14.99 for a second channel of football. Frankly, Setanta’s price-point was way off the mark for a single channel. Think of it; I receive FSC, plus many more sports channels from DIRECTV for $12.99 per month. Compare this to Setanta’s price structure….I

      1. BA, to me, Setanta is a bargain based on the quantity and quality of football coverage they provide me. It ends up being 50 cents a day. Cheaper than a can of soda.

        The Gaffer

        1. Don’t forget that without Setanta, we lose that Xtra channel (at least on DirecTV) which basically means one less live game per week. Depending on which team you are a fan of, Setanta Xtra can be a must. Even with a new Fox channel replacing Setanta, we lose that one live game on Saturday morning or any Tuesday/Wednesday fixtures.

  17. Tweets from Tripp Mickle of SBJ:

    “Hungry for more #EPL? Fox is expected tomorrow to confirm rumors it will create Fox Soccer Plus, a premium net w/ EPL & more.

    Distribution for Fox Soccer Plus likely will vary from operator to operator. Some may charge premium fee. Others put it on a tier

    As for those rumors Fox bought Setanta’s U.S. operations? Not true. But Setanta Sports won’t sublicense Fox’s #EPL games starting 3/1/10.”

    1. Interesting. Tripp is usually on top of stories. Not sure where he’s getting the “rumors” that Fox bought Setanta US. We’ve been reporting they were in talks, but no final deal has been announced yet.

      If Fox Soccer Plus is supposed to show Premier League matches and more, wouldn’t you think that they would be getting more rights in order to put games on that channel?

      Maybe they could show one extra 10am ET game and a midweek EPL game or two but what other EPL games are there?

      Spike, thanks for sharing the information.

      The Gaffer

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