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Setanta UK Goes Into Administration

Setanta Sports logoSetanta UK has gone into administration this morning after failing to make payments to the Premier League and losing the Premier League TV rights in the UK for the 2009-2013 seasons.

The administrator Deloitte said that it would shortly cease broadcasting to customers in Great Britain but would continue to operate elsewhere. They said they would immediately stop collecting subscription payments.

About 200 employees involved with the British operations will be made redundant, the firm said. Setanta had a total of 420 employees in the UK and Ireland.

“This is a sad day for all concerned,” said Sir Robin Miller, chairman of Setanta. “Unfortunately, in a difficult and highly competitive market, and despite strenuous efforts by the board and management, it has not been possible to find sufficient additional funds in the time available to ensure its survival.”

“The International and Ireland businesses continue to trade on air whilst we are in discussions with parties to take on those businesses as going concerns,” according to Deloitte’s Neville Khan, one of the partners appointed to carry out the administration process.

“After a huge effort by the Setanta board, management team and its backers, it has not been possible to save the GB business, which will be wound down in due course.”

UPDATE: According to a written statement from the broadcaster, “Setanta’s services in the USA, Canada, Australia and Africa will continue to trade normally.”

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  1. dave bradley

    July 7, 2009 at 10:15 am

    i think its a discrace the fact you take monthly payments off people and then close your channels down 2 days later .

    i then find out you are still broadcasting in ireland how come the irish still get the channels but not the british.

    plus you put telephone numbers online for us to contact and all we get is an automated answer service.

    • Paul Bestall

      July 7, 2009 at 11:09 am

      Hi Dave,

      Have you tired getting your bank to do an indemnity claim on the DD they took off you two days prior to going under??

  2. FredZ

    June 24, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    I’m not surprised that SetantaUS is makes a profit since they certainly don’t spend any money on tech support. I’ve subscribed to them since before it even had the Prem (in order to get other football like the French league) but had already decided to not renew since I’ve had nothing but trouble with them over the last season especially with the Setanta-i disaster that left me hunting for streams from Asia instead of getting the broadcast I paid for. I hope all of Setanta disappears and some other group takes over the rights. Anyone else would have to do a better job.

  3. Jay

    June 23, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    ESPN will do a good job.

    • Jake

      June 23, 2009 at 10:13 pm

      Never going to happen, ESPN will have EPL in the USA no sooner than 2025

  4. AtlantaPompey

    June 23, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Denis Desmond is buying the remaining portion of Setanta Ireland, but has no controlling interest in Setanta North America. It is profitable, but mainly because they had to spend so little to broadcast games.

    ESPN will broadcast La Liga next season, including 20 matches on ESPN2. They are serious about developing football here, but need to use the local announcers, the local feed, and put people in studio who know the game. No Alexei Lalas. No Tommy Smyth. I hope they can get the EPL matches that are currently on Setanta North America and promote them properly. We’ll see if they will do it correctly.

    • SSReporters

      June 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm

      The international channel ESPN has includes Derek Rae and Adrian Healey.

      But I dare you to listen to Dave Roberts and Shep Messing….I found a clip on Youtube and they are awful.

    • Jake

      June 23, 2009 at 10:34 pm

      Yeah they are real serious….Wow 20 games on ESPN2….

      “I hope they can get the EPL matches that are currently on Setanta North America and promote them properly. We’ll see if they will do it correctly.”

      Yeah because suddenly they are going to be interested in premier league rights in America because Setanta is in trouble? Wake up from your wet dream and realize that ESPN could care less about soccer. NASCAR qualifying rounds gets better ratings than a Man United versus Chelsea game.

  5. David

    June 23, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    UK subscribers = 1.2 million (not anymore)
    Ireland, Australia, Africa, USA, Canada subscribers = 200,000

    ESPN is not going to buy any Setanta operation. If ESPN was serious about the EPL they could have done something about it a long time ago.

    US rights 2007-2010 = $57 million
    Canadian rights 2007-2010 = $3.15 million

    For $19 million a year they could have put the EPL on ESPN Classic and they don’t do it because ESPN really does not care about football. They talked for years about how ESPN was going to enter the EPL market in the UK and years later they finally enter when two packages are basically handed to them.

    My prediction is that this guy Denis Desmond who already owns around 20% of the Irish operation will buy the Irish & international operations.

  6. SSReporters

    June 23, 2009 at 1:22 pm

  7. Ian

    June 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    I’m sorry, but for the last week, people have been telling me that Setanta US is profitable and will survive and I’m a moron for connecting the two as much as I did.

    They will have to spin off the US network, which is not as likely, or they will sell it to take care of the debts of the UK network.

    ESPN Football, here we come.

  8. geeza

    June 23, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Maybe setanta US will be next. every try contacting support for setanta-i? Good Luck….
    Maybe espn will take over ! As long as they get rid of old onion balls Tommy Smyth and dont have any of those donkeys that attempted to commentate on the World Cup 2006. everything will be rosie. And the channel might be available through cable.

    CTID…..bring on Tevez.

    • Christopher

      June 23, 2009 at 11:59 am

      The profitability of Setanta US might work in their favor, it could make it an attractive channel for someone (perhaps ESPN) to ultimately buy out.

  9. Christopher

    June 23, 2009 at 11:15 am

    I suppose it won’t be long now until the question over the fate of Setanta US is finally answered.

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