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|On June 23 2009 http://www.cheapnfljerseysraiders.com/marquette-king/ , Setanta Sport Limited went into administration. This followed a period of rumours, denials and a series of surreptitious late night meetings between management and investors and potential investors in a bid to stave off the inevitable. Setanta, it appeared, had bitten off more of the sports pie than it could chew and was to pay the price.
The implications of the sport broadcaster?s demise are far reaching and ongoing, and perhaps have not yet been fully realised.
The fall of Setanta has taken some people by surprise. The company began as a simple solution to Irish expat desire to watch home games and developed steadily but slowly to become a serious challenger to BSkyB http://www.cheapnfljerseysraiders.com/lee-smith/ , but it appears that the company may have overstretched in recent years in what has become a volatile and unrelenting market.
In the beginning: fulfilling a need
Nearly 20 years ago, the Republic of Ireland faced Holland in the 1990 World Cup. None of the UK broadcaster?s thought it an important enough game to show, so two enterprising Irish expats, Michael O?Rourke and Leonard Ryan, hired a venue and charged ?10 a head to watch the game in Ealing s Top Hat club. After 1 http://www.cheapnfljerseysraiders.com/t-j-carrie/ ,000 takers turned up that night, O?Rourke and Ryan realised that they were on to something and it wasn?t long before Setanta became a niche broadcaster, providing Irish ad Gaelic sport to Irish expats in other countries too.
Fast forward to 2009 and Setanta was a very different company. Expanding gradually for many years, in 2004 the company stepped up its growth plans and acquired major sporting rights for tournaments other than football, include golf http://www.cheapnfljerseysraiders.com/donald-penn/ , horse racing, rugby union, cricket and boxing.
Setanta was now a major rival for Sky whenever the broadcasting rights to a major event came onto the market.
The company became a global operation with a number of different TV channels, such as Setanta North America, offering various sporting events tailored to each individual market.
In 2004 they won the UK rights to broadcast the Scottish Premier League http://www.cheapnfljerseysraiders.com/justin-ellis/ , a major breakthrough for the company. But the real step up for them came in 2006 when they picked up the two English Premier League packages. They now had the right to show 46 matches annually for three seasons, from 200708 to 200910.
This was followed by a deal with PGA Golf, which secured coverage of 40 top golf events annually in the US for six years from 2007 onwards.
However, a change in their status in the market place meant that there was also a major change in the financial sums involved. Setanta needed 1.9 million subscribers to break even, but only managed to attract 1.2 million.
In 2007 Setanta launched a sports news channel in competition with Sky s offering. That ate up millions in capital.
Setanta?s dream began to slide towards a nightmare as management scrambled to fill the financial shortfall needed to make the payment for its various sports rights.
The company began running at an estimated loss of ?100m a year http://www.cheapnfljerseysraiders.com/rodney-hudson/ , after missing subscriber targets.
Setanta struggled to make its commitment to the Scottish Premier League, a mere ?3m, and when it came to paying the next instalment of the ?30m owed to the English Premier League, it faltered and the administrators were called in.
The immediate implications of the fall of Setanta is that its broadcasting rights revert to the holders, and another bidding process will begin. However http://www.cheapnfljerseysraiders.com/michael-crabtree/ , this means that Setanta subscribers who have already paid for their sport will not be able to view their expected matches. Nor will some of Setanta?s customers receive a refund for their prepaid broadcasts. According to the Setanta website, subscribers who have paid by credit card have a degree of protection and may be successful in claiming back part if not all of their payments. But those who paid by direct debit will probably not see their money again.
More serious an implication, however, is the threat to other businesses, including sporting bodies and service industries.
The Scottish Premier League http://www.cheapnfljerseysraiders.com/david-amerson/ , for example, could be badly affected by the failure of Setanta. One SPL club chairman told the BBC that the failure of the company would be ?absolutely horrific? for the future of the game in Scotland.
It could have a massive impact on the financial structure of organised football in Scotland and would probably drive players away to other countries in search of better wages. The restriction of clubs? ability to buy quality players would also mean that jobs would be lost at all levels of the game, not just on the field.
According to one of the SPL clubs, the revenue from Setanta accounts for 33 of their income and the fallout may force three SPL clubs into administration.
Service industries will also be adversely affected, such as a call centre in Newry.
Up to 200 jobs may be lost at Teleperformance http://www.cheapnfljerseysraiders.com/gabe-jackson/ , although the company said that it was still working through the full implications of the fallout from Setanta?s closure.
The call centre has a large number of other customers and is working to minimise the impact of the loss of business.
The demise of Setanta though also brings into question the future of sports broadcasting. A number of pressures have been brought to bear on what used to be a very profitable business and Setanta?s failure may have far reaching implications for the relationship between sport and television.
The fragmentation of media has caused a drop in advertising, and with piracy on the internet, EU red tape and the possible regulatory changes in the UK means that the income from sports broadcasting is not as guaranteed as it was in the past.
SAP Education has worked hard along with C.