What Will Happen to Setanta-i?


When Setanta US goes off air at the end of February 28, 2010, what will happen to Setanta-i, the broadband channel that many of us, myself included, have learned to love especially when watching Premier League games?

The good news is that even though Setanta US is going out of business, Setanta-i will still continue.

Here’s how and why:

Setanta-i is owned by Setanta, but just because Setanta US is going out of business, it doesn’t mean that Setanta-i will bite the dust either. There are still regional Setanta divisions in operation around the world including Setanta Ireland, Setanta Canada and Setanta Australia.

The best way to think of Setanta-i is as a content platform. When Setanta US shuts its doors at the end of February 28, Setanta-i will no longer stream Setanta US content because the channel will not exist. However, because Setanta-i is a platform that other companies can use. Businesses such as Premium Sports, the company formed by Shane O’Rourke who previously worked at Setanta US.

In the case of Premium Sports, the service has partnered with Setanta Sports to provide pay-per-view content through Setanta-i to residential viewers throughout the United States. So, for example, you can subscribe to watch the Six Nations rugby as well as GAA football. More details are available at http://premiumsportsinc.com/watch-online.html

There’s a possibility that Premium Sports may show soccer matches in the near future, which would be available on a PPV basis. No word yet which rights Premium Sports will be able to get.

In Canada, Setanta Canada customers can still continue to access Setanta-i as before to watch streaming content. No changes there.

For those of you who currently have annual subscriptions to Setanta-i.com, be sure to e-mail us-setanta-i@setanta.com to request a refund for the months which you have paid for the service but won’t be receiving it. As for the rest of us in the U.S., on March 1, the monthly subscription will come to an end and we will then be able to use Setanta-i on a pay-per-view basis.

56 thoughts on “What Will Happen to Setanta-i?”

  1. Gaffer – is ONLY Setanta US going out of business? Is Setanta Australia going to continue it’s operations for the foreseeable future?

  2. The big question remains surely , what happens to Sentanta’s online rights for the Prem and other leagues.If FSC online only show games after midnight same day and more games goto ESPN 360 (which I can’t get) – then the demise of Setanta “i” (which was pretty damn good all things concidered – especially picture quality post upgrade to silverlight) ,is really going to hurt….

    1. Bournemouth, I’ve asked Fox what will happen to the online rights and whether they’ll be adding more to FoxSoccer.tv but I’m yet to receive a reply. Unfortunately it ooks like they’re keeping a “radio silence” until they figure out what to do or are ready to announce the news.

      The Gaffer

    2. Regarding ESPN360, it will become ESPN3 in April, along with adding “new features and functionality”.
      Link: http://bit.ly/dyopAd

      We are seeing more and more DVD players and TV’s with built in internet access for Blockbuster, Netflix, YouTube, CinemaNow, and others. Wouldn’t it make sense for ESPN360 (ESPN3) to partner with the same electronic companies to get their platform available on TV’s and DVD players?

      Here is a list of competitions available on ESPN360:
      “Soccer: FIFA World Cup events and global qualifiers, Football League (UK), Carling Cup (UK), La Liga (Spain), Italian Serie A, Portuguese Liga Sagres, MLS, US National team, international “friendlies” and more;”

  3. Be forewarned, annual subscribers:

    On January 14 I asked for a refund for the remainder of my annual subscription. I received an email stating that the refund would be credited to my card within two weeks.

    When the credit hadn’t hit my card this week, I wrote back and was told that the money was refunded and I would have to ask my credit card provider why it hadn’t been credited. I advised them in no uncertain terms that were the money not credited by today, I would institute an action in small claims court.

    I’ll keep you posted.

    1. Pleaese do! I asked for a prorated refund on the 11th of February and was told to allow ten days for processing… my money still hasn’t been returned. Perhaps an EPL blog on behalf of the Setanta-i refund seekers is in order. I hope I see that money soon.

    1. This answer is non-responsive to the topic of this column. We are discussing setanta-i.com, and your answer has to do with Setanta the cable channel morphing into Fox Soccer +, the cable channel, which it sounds like FIOS is definitely going to pick up. We are discussing the ability to watch matches over the internet without a cable or satellite provider…

      1. Relax David…there were no other recent columns to put this on and I figured it was somewhat important news since no provider has mentioned FSC+ yet as of this point.

  4. The irony of surviving the tv set up box disaster from that other company that went bust (I finally threw mine out a couple months ago) to the growing pains of setanta online starting to bear fruit with setanta-i,only for that to now disappear.

    It would be a shame considering that I’m not 100% confident that Fox Soccer Plus will be rolled out by my provider the morning of March 1st to pick up the slack.

    This is the 3rd year in a row that something like this has happened right smack in the middle of the season.

  5. Although the content was good on setanta-i, the pq didn’t compare to ESPN 360. Also more games than not I would get the “there is a serious problem” box pop up and have to refresh and reload the page, which was a pain with live events, but was even more of a pain with recorded content having to fast forward back to the part where you left off. It also sucked that you couldn’t pause or rewind live events(you can on ESPN360), as well as the cost being the same as it was for the Setanta channel on tv, despite having significantly less content than the tv channel did. Thanks for coming out, but it won’t be missed if the content ends up somewhere else.

  6. I subscribed to Setanta-i primarily so I could watch the 1-hour Premier League Review Show. I refuse to subscribe to cable tv and Setanta-i was the only other place I could find it. Hulu offers some short highlight clips, but I’d love to watch the full show. Does anybody know where if it can be found elsewhere online in the U.S.?

    1. Jaime, other than Setanta-i and the seldom updated Hulu, that’s it for legal online rights of the show. There’s BitTorrent, but it’s a sad reflection on the state of matters when the best way to get that content online is through illegal means.

      The Gaffer

      1. Jaime G,

        on the Video section of Fox Soccer’s website (not Foxsoccer.tv), they do show the weekend goal recap from all the games. Not as good as the PL Review show but better than nothing!!!

  7. Supporting West Ham this year has generally been painful, but I’ve been able to see 24 of 25 matches on FSC (some on tape delay this year at 5 pm) or setanta-i.com. I don’t really understand how foxsoccer.tv works. Many West Ham matches, including say, next Saturday’s match v Hull are shown delayed on setanta, which means I can access it from 5 pm on. Are you saying from March 1, foxsoccer.tv should now have *all* the matches (as they no longer send them to setanta-i.com) but foxsoccer.tv has a policy of not releasing them to the web until midnight of game night? (So I’d have to wait til Sunday to see a West Ham saturday match or Monday to see a Sunday match?) There’s no word whatsoever on FS+ being picked up by Time Warner Cable here in NYC, and TWC never picked up Setanta, so it sounds like foxsoccer.tv will be my only way of picking up West Ham matches that are *not* shown on FSC or ESPN2 live or on delay.

  8. If Setanta-i is not going to show premiership games I don’t care. I’m not sure I understand the point of this blog. Most people on here have Setanta-i for the premiership and if they are not going to show it could care less if it’s going away or not.

    You might want to change the tone of the first couple of paragraphs. From the first couple of paragraphs I was actually excited thinking they would still be showing the premiership games. But as you read on you find out Setanta-i will only exist to show content from Premium Sports and who knows what else. So really, for me I could care less.

    I was hoping to read that they would still be broadcasting premiershp games because for one thing I’m worried Fox Soccer Plus is not going to be up and running on Comcast on March 2nd.

    1. Hi Jeff, it’s very possible that Setanta-i (through Premium Sports) will make available soccer games. There could be Euro 2012 qualifiers and other games on there.

      The Gaffer

  9. I would expect Premium Sports to pick up selected Euro 2012 qualifying games and some International Friendlies also. The people involved have bought Republic of Ireland and England international rights in the past and I would expect them to have these games on PPV via Setanta-i. Personally that will come as a relief to me as my biggest concern about losing Setanta was that FSC and FSC+ would not be as motivated to show Ireland international games.

  10. A rant that’s sorta on topic yet off topic… if ESPN would get off its high horse and make ESPN360 available to anyone who wanted to and are willing to pay to subscribe to it instead of making it available only to those who have specific ISP’s, I’d sign up immediately.

  11. Does anyone know what will happen with the rugby matches Setanta-i currently shows (6 nations will be available on a PPV basis via Premiere Sport) but what about Magners and Heineken Cup games? I am thinking Fox Soccer,w hich isn’t available for me anyway, will carry as much rugby. I keep hearing what will happen to the soccer matches, but these are already more widely available via ESPN and Fox. Is the demise of Setanta the end of rugby on TV or broadband (same thing for me since I stream it via HDMI)? Anyone know?

    1. I don’t know about the Magners/Guiness games, I really hope they get picked up, but the Super XIV (which Setanta has rights for TV but not online) will still be available streaming (every match) online at rugbyzone.com in the US and other countries. Rugbyzone does some Heineken cup matches too, but they can’t show it in the US (among some other countries) because Setanta has those rights.

    1. What I’ve been told Verbatim:
      Dear [Sir],
      Thanks for your email to Setanta-i. Your pro-rated refund has been issued. Please allow ten days for this payment to be processed by your bank. You will continue to have access to Setanta-i until February 28th.
      We would like to thank you for your time as a Setanta-i subscriber.
      If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.
      Kind regards,

      Then Came this:

      Dear [Sir],
      Thanks for your email. A pro-rated refund was issued but it appears the credit card details you have registered with Setanta-i are outdated as our refund payment failed. Can you please log into your Setanta-i account and update you credit card details?
      If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.
      Kind regards,

      I received this today:

      Dear Subscriber
      Thank you for your reply.
      In order to enable us to investigate why the refunds have not reached your account as expected, we will need additional information.
      Would you mind forwarding us the first eight digits of your credit card and then in a subsequent email, the next four?
      For security reasons, please do not send us all sixteen digits or include the first twelve in one email.
      When we have received this our Payment Service Provider will be able to trace the transaction.
      If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.
      Kind regards,
      Setanta-i Team

  12. I got the exact same messages from them. I entered another card and they sent the same messages AGAIN. This is criminal!

  13. Alas, I have received a similar response. I updated my credit card before the end of February, but three further e-mails have not prompted any response. May I inquire of hmdubi and Berkeley-B when you last heard from Setanta? I have visions of them shutting down and walking away in the belief that the amounts involved are too small to warrant any action.

    1. I think probably your best bet is to contact the Better Business Bureau to file a complaint. I’ll stick to writing about soccer, but wish I could help!

      The Gaffer

  14. I received the same responses as above. Last one yesterday. I believe a refund is coming, eventually, but it’s like pulling teeth.

  15. I sent them a couple more emails asking where my refund was. I got another message this morning asking for me to send the first eight digits of my credit card. I replied and said i had already done that and I that i knew they were sending the same pattern of emails to other people. I got a reponse stating that my refund would be processed in a couple of days. I’ll believe it when i see it. They know that it’s not worth the hassle for anyone to legally pursue them for $89.00. This is the same crap that ITVN pulled when they went under.

  16. Received today:

    “Dear Subscriber.

    Thank you for your email.

    We are currently processing all US refunds. As you can imagine this takes quite some time.
    We really appreciate your patience and we will have an update for you as soon as possible.

    If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.”

    Keep the faith. :-)

  17. I was told on March 5th I’d get my refund within 10 working days. I know technically speaking Setanta are out of business and don’t actually have “working” days anymore, but should that mean I’m still waiting on a refund after 14 of my working days?

  18. Now they’re telling me it’s my bank’s fault I haven’t seen the cash.

    “Thanks for your email to Setanta-i. Your refund was issued on March 05th and should have been processed by your bank. Can you please contact your credit card company to investigate this matter further?

    If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.”

    Just called my bank who assured me they have received sweet FA from Setanta.

  19. I’m no financial genius, but it looks to me like Setanta-i either doesn’t have the money or doesn’t want to give the refunds. I would recommend you to contact your local Better Business Bureau.

    The Gaffer

  20. It’s basic business 101 – after all, they did go out of business. You guys probably will just be in a long line of creditors. If you payed by credit card, you’re probably better off trying to get a chargeback depending on the time line.

  21. I have tried since the beginning of mMarch and have had the proverbial runaround. Cathal is a clown, who is dubious to say the least. Did anyone else get a email asking for you to send your credit card number in to them in two parts for security reasons, along with expiration date. This is amusing and nothing more than a stalling tactic. Class action suit might be the way to go, as there are 120,00 subscription with probably 50% wanting pro-rated refunds now they dont have EPL games. That is lots of money, no wonder they don’t want to pay. I am going to dispute the charges with my credit card company at this point. I will let everyone know if I get anywhere.

  22. Steve: I agree with your sentiments. A class action is the way to go (I’m a lawyer, by the way), but my concern on that is not so much the validity of it but the mechanics. Obtaining jurisdiction and finding the money are probably the biggest issues. Do the terms and conditions say that you have to sue them in Ireland?

    Alas, I would have thought that the ship sailed on the credit card if, like me, yo paid many months ago.

  23. I did that Better Business Bureau thing. Cathal at Setanta tried processing it again, but again it’s failed to go through.

  24. I had the same issues with emails. I knew there was something wrong with them asking for the card numbers and refused to do so.

    I’m sure they must have acted illegally in all this. They were still solvent when I asked for my refund.

    I would be willing to join a class action if it would work, but who’s going to bring it?


  25. I have been lurking on this site for 6 weeks or so while having the same refund issues as others – update credit card details, send credit card details in 2 parts etc.

    Got another E-Mail from Cathal a few days ago asking for last 4 digits of CC!!

    Recounted the history to him yet again but did add the last 4 digits.

    A Setanta team member Ava replied promising all would be well this time.

    The refund showed up on my account today!

  26. Three months, one BBB claim, and umpteen emails later I have finally received my money.

    It feels a bit like winning 5 dollars on a bet you made 30 years ago.

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