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Setanta bites the dust

Despite days of renewed hopes and talks with an American investor, satellite TV channel Setanta has today succumbed to administration. The company was forced out of business due to lower than expected subscriber numbers, alleged outstanding tax payments in the tens of millions and the fact that the company missed stage payments to the Scottish Premier league and the English Premier league. After finally losing the rights to the English Premier league late last week this was, according to many, the final nail in the Coffin.

The English Football Association has put the old Setanta rights up for sale and the bidding is expected to close on Monday of next week. While there appears to be great confidence that the English Premier league, national team and England under 21 games will receive significant interest and high bids, the same cannot be said of the Scottish Premier league.

Many believe that Setanta paid over the odds for rights to Scottish football primarily because this was the best route into the main market for a then start-up company. However, there is a serious risk that some Scottish Premier league clubs will go out of business if a broadly comparable TV deal is not signed in the short to medium term.

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