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Questions Please for Setanta, GolTV and NetResult

sportel-americaOn Tuesday, EPL Talk will be hitting the road to Miami to attend the SportelAmerica Conference. It’s the event of the year where the major sports leagues and TV networks meet to negotiate the rights to TV and new media. The Premier League will be there. So too will the Bundesliga and Major League Soccer. Plus, ESPN, Fox Soccer Channel, Setanta Sports, GolTV and others will be attending.

I’ll be twittering live from the event as well as recording interviews for the EPL Talk Podcast. I have interviews lined up with the following companies thus far (with more to come), so let me know if you have any specific questions you’d like me to ask:

  • Setanta Sports (Shane O’Rourke)
  • GolTV (Enzo Francescoli)
  • NetResult (Christopher Stokes) — the company that handles takedown notices for sites in violation of illegally showing game highlights
  • Keir Radnedge — former editor of World Soccer Magazine, and accomplished author

Feel free to post the questions in the comments section. If I ask your question, I’ll mention your name on-air in the next EPL Talk Podcast episode. I’ll also try to see if there’s someone from Fox Soccer Channel available to answer questions, too. Plus, I’m sure I’ll be conducting several impromptu interviews as well as reporting on this blog on any of the breaking news stories.

This year’s SportelAmerica Conference will be even more interesting than usual. Reason being is that Fox Soccer Channel, ESPN and Setanta Sports are bidding for the Premier League TV and broadband rights for the 2010-2013 seasons and a decision is expected within the next few weeks. With the Premier League being at the conference, it’s a safe bet that there’ll be some interesting discussions and negotiations going on behind the scenes.

Listen to the EPL Talk Podcast episode from SportelAmerica two years ago.

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  1. Steve

    March 16, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Hi Gaffer. Thanks for taking our comments.

    I’ve attached the URL link about ESPN Classic only allowing show so many hours of live programming per week:

    I don’t know if this still exists but if you do find the ESPN rep, ask him/her about it.

  2. The Gaffer

    March 15, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Thanks everyone for your questions. I appreciate your help and will be sure to ask many of the questions to the folks from Setanta and GolTV — and ESPN and Fox if I’m able to find someone who is available.

    To answer a few of the questions above, the reason GolTV shows the early Saturday morning Bundesliga game on delay is so that their studio employees don’t have to work straight through from 10am to 6pm. By showing it on delay beginning at Noon, their studio staff only need to work from approximately Noon to 6pm.

    By the way, take a look at Bundesliga Talk’s behind-the-scenes video on YouTube at

    Fox Soccer Channel already has a broadband package, which is available at

    The Gaffer

  3. Corey

    March 15, 2009 at 1:31 am

    Oh another question I forgot to ask is when can we expect to see a majority of the UEFA Champions League matches in HD? In my guide I can see that on either ESPN HD or ESPN2 HD it says the game is available in HD but yet they don’t offer it in HD.

    Lastly on the club football channel front, can we expect to see more individual deals struck with the three soccer networks or perhaps might we even see a 24-hour network offered, i.e. MUTV or Barca TV on a full time basis in the U.S.? Even for now it would be great if either FSC, Gol TV, or Setanta carried more programming from the club channels than they do today. There are even a few teams that are not carried at all, i.e. Liverpool, Celtic, Rangers, Real Madrid, and Juventus to name a few.

  4. Steve

    March 14, 2009 at 12:18 pm


    I read on that ESPN cannot convert ESPN Classic to a ESPN 3 channel due to contracts with the cable/satellite companies which states ESPN Classic can only show X number of hours of live programming per week. If that’s the case, would ESPN need to aquire Setanta US to make a ESPN 3 channel if they do aquire the US EPL TV rights? That way, the contract with ESPN Classic and the cable/satellite companies stays intact and ESPN would get a new channel focusing on the EPL and other international sports which ESPN doesn’t currently show.


    BTW, I love the Sky Sports News live feed at Noon and 7PM ET on FSC. Rather than paid programming, FSC should show Sky Sports News.

  5. cftv

    March 14, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Another question I would like to know is why does FSC and GOL TV show Infomercials on Saturday and Sunday Mornings before games? I can understand needing revenue because of the lack of commercial time built into a soccer game but at the same time there is no shoulder programming that can be brought over from England or anywhere else on Saturday and Sunday Morning that deals with futbol instead of get rich quick schemes and how to grow your hair back ads?

    Its seriously a joke to wake up on Saturday and Sunday Morning and there is nothing for soccer fans to watch to get excited about the games coming up that don’t have Setanta’s early games on Saturday and Sunday Mornings.

  6. Bob

    March 14, 2009 at 8:14 am

    HD! HD! HD! HD! Please get us our games in HD! I would consider any price.

  7. Corey

    March 14, 2009 at 2:38 am

    Gaffer couple of questions: I am just outside the Boston area and was wondering if we can expect to see Setanta Sports on Comcast in the near future? Right now the channel is only offered in the city and not in the burbs. Also any plans for a HD channel and perhaps any more club programming deals in the works, i.e. more MUTV or Chelsea TV content, Rangers TV / Celtic TV, Real Madrid TV, Barca TV, Juventus Channel etc.

  8. Jay

    March 13, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    FSC- Any chance of more original Sky Sports programming on FSC?

    Setanta- Any chance of an upgrade to the broadband service? Maybe something like ESPN360?

    ESPN- Will there be an ESPN 3?

  9. caliculer

    March 13, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    I would like to second the idea of asking GolTV what the deal is with La Liga. Why is the Athletic-R. Madrid match delayed one day? Is it a problem with GolTV’s finances (can’t afford it, sublicensed, etc..)? Or is it an issue on the Spanish end (i.e the battle between MediaPro and Audiovisual Sport)?

  10. cftv

    March 13, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    I asked this question before when you had on an executive with FSC before and I would love to see if there is any headway from this idea which intrigued him at the time and said it would be something to explore. I would love to know if we will ever see the day that we will see classic EPL Review Shows shown in order as a series as a primer on the history of the Premiership. Those tapes have to exist at TWI and would be great for new fans to get an idea about the history of league as the seasons unfold over the years? I like the 1/2 hour Premier League classics but I think the American Audience would be served better by having the 1 hour rundown of all the highlights around the league as well as the interviews with the managers that the Prem Highlight show always delivers in spades?

    Will we see the day that all 3 big soccer networks will air more of the Club TV shows as well as replays of classic games as well as replays from 48 hours after the game was first played if they have the rights to the Club TV show. As a United Fan I would be perfectly happy to watch reserve games and such just to see how the kids develop. If FSC loses out on some of their rights to the Premiership to ESPN would making a play for a Manchester United TV and Liverpool TV be an option to show replays of games on Tuesday and Wedensday Nights as a part of a regular schedule?

    For Setanta do they ever see them getting out of the bar business with Old Firm games and will show the games live on the network instead of forcing people in the US to get up and go to a bar to watch games at 7:30am to 9:30am. I like Celtic and Rangers and would like to watch more games live but the idea of leaving my house at 7:30am to watch a futbol game just doesn’t appeal to me as a fan as more often than not I will just catch the highlights on SSN thatn go out to a bar that early in the morning to watch the game. IS the 10 dollars a head at a bar more important than exposing those Clubs to a live TV audience that they can watc h from the luxury of your own home.

    Also with GOL TV why do they delay the start of German League games since they instead choose to show paid programs in the morning instead of showing the games live while the game is playing? Finally with GOL why is it offered on the Spanish Tier of programming for my cable company Brighthouse Cable in the Tampa Florida area but isn’t included in the sports pack when the games are all broadcast in English with the only thing in spanish is the commercials and infomercials? I pay for the Sports Pack and the Spanish Pack. The Sports Pack through Brighthouse is necessary for me as I am a big fan of the NHL and they have the NHL Network, I am also a displaced Big 10/MIchigan Fan living in Florida and the Big 10 Network is included in the package. I also love the 3 different Fox Sports Networks because they are just about the only network that shows college hockey on Friday and Saturday Nights of which I am a fan of MIchigan and almost all of their games on the weekends are shown either on one fo the FCS Feeds or the Big 10 Network. Why can’t GOL TV be included in that sports package since all of the games are broadcast in English?

    Finally what is the different companies opinion of P2P programs that allow fans with high speed connections finding games online and watching them on their computers when the game isn’t available in your local area since many people can’t get dishes because of restrictions in where they live as well where their houses are located if you don’t have a direct clear view to the sky where the satellite is located? I am sure it hurts in the pocketbook because they aren’t making money directly through rights fees but their commercials during half time and in the build up and following the game are shown on these feeds?

    FInally how much fear do these networks have of ESPN really jumping head first into the soccer broadcasting rights game if they indeed do get into the Premeirship Business because of the exposure the Mickey Mouse Networks have compared to niche channels like FSC, GOL, and Setanta?

    Have a GRATE Time at the convention and I look forward to hearing your interviews that come out of this, Chris!

  11. Bishopville Red

    March 13, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Setanta – time for more SPL coverage in Canada. Can you find out about that?

    THE Enzo Francescoli? Ask abouthis time at Olympique Marseille. He only lasted a year. Why? Any sniff of inappropriate Bernard Tapie shenanigans?

  12. Robbie

    March 13, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Hi Gaffer,

    – Update on the Goltv v. Dishnetwork situation. Any chance for reconciliation?
    – Also Goltv whats wrong with you updating your lineup on the t.v. schedule? Why is the whole situation out of whack? Please explain.
    – Goltv, why are you showing the late Saturday La Liga match delayed? and why is your coverage getting poorer each year of the Budesliga and La Liga? This is fact.
    – Will Goltv start using commentators at the Stadium instead if using Schoen and Hudson (in house commentators). They belong at the museum of Natural History in Washington along with the extinct sabre tooth and other mammals!
    – Setanta, any chance of Setanta Xtra coming to Dish, and other carriers of Setanta?
    – How will the rights battle in the U.K. for Preimier leagie rights, effect Setanta in North America? Can we expect to see 23 matches from Setanta here from 2010 to 2013? Or is that only effecting viewers in the U.K.?
    – Fox Soccer Channel, any chance of changing the FSR studio, its hurting my eyes.
    – I like Fox Football Phone In. Are there ideas of expanding the show?
    – Status of football televised in Canada. Where the big three stand on this issue.
    – The future of the Premier League and its plans in North America on television.
    – Finally, What do Setanta, Fox and Goltv think of the football television climate now in North America? Any predictions on where footy television is headed on this side of the pond. Good or bad predicitions welcomed.

    Thanks Gaffer for taking my questions into consideration. Have fun at Sportel America and we know it will be a very informative podcast.



  13. Randy Capps

    March 13, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Gol TV: Has there been any progress in returning your channel to the Dish Network lineup>

  14. manubhoy

    March 13, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    I would love to know if any of them have plans to upgrade to HD in the near future. Is there an HD international feed currently available for the Premier League or La Liga? If not, can we expect it to be included in the next TV deal?

  15. eplnfl

    March 13, 2009 at 12:34 pm


    To all of the companies it appears that technology is charging the market. Does the future make services like ESPN 360 and Setanta Broadband the way we will receive programming in the future. Are cable and over the air rights yesterdays way of putting the product out to the public.

    David and anyone else with a I-phone Orb isn’t the only application out there that makes football on the run easy. TVU network has it’s own application as well as various score broad services and chat rooms. The biggest one for me has been which links you to the BBC radio channels online. The onlive versions are blocked but for instance the Carling Cup was live and the other night when I got in my car to head home( and it works very over the 3G system in your car)the Arsenal-Roma finish was live on 5 Live and you can get 606 all the time. It was great to have 606 in my ears over my I-phone while on the treadmill at the gym.

  16. Doug

    March 13, 2009 at 11:11 am

    For Setanta:

    1) Why aren’t some of the live games on the tv channel also available live from BB1, BB2, or PPV? I’m thinking of the Chelsea v. Juventus game this week.
    2) During peak times and peak games, I’m often forced to try all 4 channels at 640K before having to drop down to 300K. Can the available bandwidth be increased?
    3) For archived games, will you offer a 640K feed? I assume the 300K only feeds are a storage issue.

    For FSC:
    1) I recently dropped cable tv (and therefore my FSC package) but kept cable Internet. Since you don’t offer a live package for Internet accounts, it was an easy decision to go with Setanta broadband. When are you going to compete directly with live packages online?

    For ESPN:
    1) Why don’t you offer a broadband package? This arrangement with offering ESPN 360 only with certain ISPs is bullsh__. I love my Setanta online package but will miss the MLS.
    2) Spill the beans about the upcoming EPL bids for US distribution rights. How about Internet scuttlebutt about ESPN buying Setanta.

  17. Stefan Schuette

    March 13, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Any information on the upcoming Bundesliga season would be great. Goltv’s coverage has definitely lessened over the past couple of seasons.

  18. David Andrews

    March 13, 2009 at 10:31 am

    For both of them (especially Setanta)
    1) I guess you will be asking when are they coming on cable (Time Warner) ! I see GolTV on Time Warner but its only available with a Spanish package.
    For Setanta
    2) Iphone support.

    I guess I had a comment for all 3 mainly directed Netresult. Most of us US viewers are at work during the weekdays so it would be ideal for some kind of streaming capability to view midweek games. Third partys are already profiting indirectly as a solution to viewing on the web or even an iPhone is streaming from cable using Orb Networks (This week I viewed Man Utd Inter on my iPhone). Later this month SlingMedia is also releasing an iPhone app.

  19. Dan

    March 13, 2009 at 10:04 am

    For Setanta, is their channel going to be more readily available on cable in the US? I have Comcast, so I can’t get the channel, and I don’t want to pay for DirecTV.

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