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Setanta appears close to failure

last updated Tuesday 09th June 2009, 2:51 PM


Setanta appeared to be entering its death throes this afternoon after the company disabled its subscription services, preventing new customers from signing up to the troubled broadcaster.

Attempts to subscribe online are met with an error message “Oops! Something has gone wrong…”. Calls to the Setanta subscription telephone line were also met with a message saying that the service is unavailable.

A spokesman for the company refused to comment on the development, but it is understood that the withdrawal of subscription services is not coincidental and could be a sign that administration is imminent.

Among the first moves an administrator would make is to effectively “close the shop”, preventing customers from paying for services they are unlikely to receive. The withdrawal of the subscription service is consistent with that approach.

Deloitte has been placed on standby to handle the administration amid concerns that the collapse of the company is imminent. A spokesman for the accountants declined to comment.

Setanta’s fate has been in the balance for weeks now and with a multi-million pound payment to the Premier League looming this week there have been growing concerns that the company will fail without fresh funding from its investors.

In addition to its Premier League and SPL service, Setanta also broadcasts a number of sports cricket, golf and rugby union.

A Virgin spokesman said: “We're monitoring the situation at Setanta Sports carefully and will try to ensure our customers continue to receive all available sports coverage.” Virgin customers on its top “XL” package receive Setanta channels for nothing. Some Virgin subscribers on cheaper packages pay for Setanta as a “top-up” and could be in line for compensation if Setanta collapses.

European Commission rules mean arch-rival Sky cannot buy up all Setanta's Premiership games. US broadcaster ESPN is reportedly interested in some of Setanta's rights.







































































Source Paul Kelso at Daily Telegraph
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