Setanta Sports in the UK

This page has been added for those looking for information on the sports channel offered by Setanta Sports.

Setanta Sports went in administration in June 2009.

Looking for Premier League coverage on ESPN? See our How to get ESPN page


Setanta Sports – The current situation…

Setanta Sports formally went into administration at 2:30pm on Tuesday 23rd June 2009. The sports service went off-air at 6pm on 23rd June and is currently off-air in the UK.


Why did Setanta collapse?

In June 2009, things started to go very wrong for Setanta Sports. Setanta had been bidding for the 2010 Premier League match rights, and lost 50% of its current 46-matches-a-season rights. to Sky.

Then in early June, national newspapers started reporting concerns about the company’s future with headlines such as "Setanta on the Brink of Collapse" and "Time running out for Setanta". Reason for this? Setanta Sports was required to make around £33 million of payments to the English Premier League and Scottish Premier League for the rights to show matches. It was looking like payments wouldn’t be met.

Setanta has failed to make a scheduled payment of £10 million, and the Premier League terminated its contract on 19th June 2009, putting the coverage of the 46 matches up for auction. On 22nd June, the Scottish Premier League followed suit after a £3 million payment failed to materialise


What happens now Setanta Sports has collapsed?

This leaves 1.2 million Setanta Sports customers with an uncertain future. The firm Deloitte has been appointed as Administrators to work on winding down the UK operation.

Sports service ESPN (owned by Disney) has stepped in to acquire the 2009/2010 Premier League rights. They may take over other sporting rights, Sky may increase their sporting dominance, or Top Up TV or BT Vision may step in (as Setanta forms part of their offering). No-one is 100% sure at this time.

ESPN logoESPN launch their service covering Barclays Premier League and Clydesdale Bank Premier League football on 3rd August 2009.

ESPN is available on Sky Digital , Virgin Media , BT Vision and Top Up TV. They’re also offering coverage in HD on Sky and Virgin. See our ESPN page for more on ESPN.


What does Setanta say?

A statement on the Setanta Sports UK website dated 23 June states:

"Setanta Sports Customers from England, Wales, Scotland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands, please be advised that it is with great regret that Setanta GB is no longer trading."

Sir Robin Miller, chairman of Setanta, said:

"This is a sad day for all concerned. Since its inspired inception a number of years ago, Setanta and its financial backers, have invested hundreds of millions of pounds buying UK and international sports rights. With the hard work and dedication of its staff, a pay-TV broadcaster was created which entertained people in three million homes with top-class sport. 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."

Premier League Coverage 2009/2010:

Setanta’s big offering was their coverage of English Premier League matches not screened by Sky. 46 were planned to be shown on Setanta in the upcoming 2009/10 season.

On 19th June, the Premier League took the drastic step of terminating Setanta’s contract to show the 2009/2010 Premier League matches. This is after Setanta Sports failed to make the £10 million rights payout on time.

On 22 June, it was announced that Disney-owned sports service ESPN has been awarded the rights to broadcast the 46 Premier League matches that were to be screened by Setanta. It is understood that they will be starting up their own ESPN channel in the UK to show these Premier League matches.

Consumer advice:

We understand that Setanta Sports will no longer be actioning any direct debits or standing orders. No information on refunds, etc is available at this time, but we will update this page with more information as we get it.

Contacting Setanta

If you need to get in contact with Setanta Sports, here are the details as of 23 June 2009:

  • Phone: Setanta Sports Customer Services on 0871 200 62 03. We also have the number 08712 00 33 22.
  • Postal address: Setanta Sports, Building 5, Chiswick Business Park, Chiswick High Road, London, W4 5YF

Deloitte were formally appointed as Administrators of Setanta Sports Holdings Ltd and certain subsidiaries on 23rd June 2009. Deloitte will be responsible for winding down the operation. Creditors will need to contact Deloitte.


Alternatives to Setanta?

If you’re looking for an alternative sports service, you’ll be wanting the Sky Sports package or ESPN.


What does Setanta Sports offer?

In the UK – nothing. Setanta Sports is an Ireland-based company that offered a number of subscription sports channels to UK viewers. The service stopped broadcasting in June 2009 due to financial problems experienced by the company. Before it closed down, their main channel, Setanta 1 offered the following:

  • Barclays Premier League
  • Clydesdale Bank Premier League
  • Live coverage of the England home friendlies
  • England Away World Cup qualifiers
  • Home nations World Cup Qualifiers
  • Indian Premier League cricket
  • US PGA Golf Tour
  • Big-time boxing
  • UFC, and much more

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