Arrivederci Setanta?

Confirmation that the Premier League has pulled the plug on Setanta comes as no great surprise. The company has failed to pay its monthly instalment payment to the league and a rescue package said to be worth £51m fell through this afternoon. Reports all over the media for the last couple of weeks or so have been saying that the Premier League has been playing “hardball” with the subscription channel, but the truth of the matter is that the Premier League doesn’t really want them there and would rather be in a position in which it could cosy up to Sky Sports with a complete and exclusive package. EU competition law prevents Sky from owning all six of the live packages that Sky has to offer, and the current deal had four of the packages on the channel, with the other two on Setanta. When Setanta lost one of its to live packages from the start of the 2010/11 season earlier this year, it was a massive nail in the coffin of a channel that hasn’t turned a profit since it took the Premier League on in the first place. It now seems likely that the company’s only option will be to enter into adminsitration. Everyone will be a loser in this situation (whoever bids for the rights now will not be paying anything like what Setanta offered), but...

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