The Woes of Setanta – part 45,921 

13 February 2009 tbs.pm/1021

The distribution of Premier League football rights is a seemingly never ending occurrence, however the latest round now has the potential to have some serious consequences.

It also raises the question of the future of Setanta, which recently failed to hang on to one of its two Premier League packages. The company hadn’t exactly been doing particularly well in the first place – failing to get the subscriber figures it needed, and the loss of half it’s football won’t help.

There’s now some speculation that Setanta will pull out of the Premier League completely – leading to Sky once again having the monopoly on live Premier League football. Precisely a situation which competition authorities have been trying to prevent. But ultimately Sky have deep pockets and, as Setanta have shown, it’s going to be very difficult to beat them at their own game.

If Setanta do pull out, serious questions will no doubt be asked again over Sky’s dominance in live football, and Setanta will be a continuing warning to those thinking of trying their hand. Some bundles of matches will have to be kept away from Sky – and the football clubs certainly aren’t going to get top dollar for them.

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