UK broadcaster Setanta enters administration

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The UK operations of Setanta Sports have been placed into administration. Financial firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu confirmed the division would be liquidated.

The sports broadcaster, which employs 420 people in Ireland and the UK, entered administration after plans to raise fresh capital through the Russian-American businessman Leonard Blavatnik failed.

With effect from today, the company is to cease accepting payments from television customers who had subscribed to its broadcasting services, and 200 employees in the United Kingdom are to be made redundant. Administrators will attempt to find a buyer for the Irish and international arms of the company.

The administrators at Deloitte are Neville Kahn, Lee Manning, and Nick Edwards. The specific companies in administration are Setanta Sport Ltd and Setanta Transmissions (UK) Ltd. Setanta Ireland is not under administration.

Setanta's UK sports channels, Setanta Sports 1 & 2, have ceased transmission in the UK, but are continuing transmission in Ireland. Other UK channels that have gone off-air include Setanta Golf and Setanta Sports News.

Racing UK, which was bundled by satellite and cable television operators with Setanta channels, is not owned by Setanta and will continue transmission. Customers who subscribed to the channel via Setanta will be offered the option of subscribing to the channel directly.

64 of the people facing redundancy work for ITN, which had contracted with Setanta to produce Setanta Sports News.

The rights that Setanta had to broadcast football matches to subscribers are to revert to their rights holders. The rights to broadcast 46 Premier League football matches for the next football season, and 23 matches for the three following seasons, have already reverted, and were sold to United States broadcaster ESPN for £260 million yesterday.

Because of UK and European Union monopoly and competition laws, broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting is not permitted to bid for the broadcasting rights that Setanta had.

Sources

Wikipedia Learn more about United Kingdom competition law and the 2009–2010 football season on Wikipedia.
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