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SBD/Issue 181/Sports Media
Setanta In Crisis Talks To Stay Afloat, Avoid Administration
Published June 9, 2009
|Premier League Clubs In England, Scotland
Awaiting Millions Of Pounds From Setanta
DEFAULTING ON CONTRACTS: Sources said that Setanta "could be placed into administration later this week if new funding could not be secured for the business," and such a move would "threaten 430 jobs, including about 200 in Ireland." In Ireland, Ciaran Hancock notes Setanta "has recently tried to renegotiate" its sports rights contracts, "in some cases seeking to shave 25[%] off the costs." Setanta also owns rights to the Scottish Premier League (SPL), but the company yesterday "missed another" US$4.8M payment to the SPL, putting Setanta "in default of its contract with the SPL, which only recently agreed to a new four-year deal with Setanta for live rights to Scottish soccer." Setanta also is due to pay about US$55.6M to the EPL "later this month as part-payment for its live rights" (IRISH TIMES, 6/9).
Ripples From Disappearance Of
Setanta Would Spread Broadly
EVENTS LIST A TAX ON SPORT? In Manchester, Mark Sweney reports BSkyB has "attacked the government's review of the so-called 'crown jewels' sporting events reserved for free-to-air television, arguing the policy acts as a 'tax on sport' that subsidises terrestrial broadcasters." BSkyB also argues that the policy "reduces competition for media rights," and the broadcaster believes that sports governing bodies "should be allowed to make their own decisions to maximise the value of their TV rights, free of political interference." BSkyB in a filing with the U.K. Department of Culture, Media & Sport said, "Listing an event against the wishes of a sports body means that it becomes a forced seller of its rights and denies it the ability to get a fail deal from its chosen broadcast partners." BSkyB CEO Jeremy Darroch today "staunchly defended BSkyB's position" in the debate over cricket's potential inclusion on the list, saying that terrestrial broadcasters "have no appetite for providing the extensive coverage that it offers and which is needed to build the profile" of the sport (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 6/9).