Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Can We Get A Do-Over, Please?

Good news for Setanta US subscribers as soon you might not have to pay them a monthly fee anymore. The bad news is because there might not be a Setanta before too long.

Upset that they only got one of the packages for EPL rights in the UK the Irish-based subscription channel is looking for some help lest it go under.

Setanta is believed to be seeking an urgent meeting with the Premier League in the hope it will help broker a deal to regain the rights it lost in last week's record-breaking TV auction... Should Setanta be unsuccessful in securing a reverse of the auction, the state of the channel's funding is bound to come under increased scrutiny. Last night the media research group Enders Analysis questioned whether Setanta could survive in its current form.

Uh oh. With only 23 games per season to air between 2010 and 2013 the channel could find itself losing subscribers, unless of course there is a massive surge in popularity for hurling and Gaelic football, assuming that those aren't the same thing. We'll go with 'no' here as we think the former is played with a stick.

What does this mean for US subscribers?

Not entirely sure. The US rights starting in 2010 go up for auction in spring or early summer. So Setanta should know by then if they've been able to negotiate back into another domestic pacakge, and have a better sense of their short-to-medium term viability.

Worst case scenario for Americans? It's probably that Setanta survives. If Setanta is still around, they might make a gambit to put more emphasis on the US market. If they hold more EPL rights for the US, that will likely drive up subscriber numbers over here. More revenue for them but it will cost you, the EPL fan (suck it, Barclay's).

Without a solvent Setanta, that probably leaves the bidding to just FSC and ESPN. Meaning cable outlets that do not require an additional $15 a month just for the one channel (FSC is often on a sports tier which does cost extra but usually gives you access to other awesome shit like bull riding and skating) will probably secure the US rights.


Andrew said...

I just want my sackah.

Eladio said...

Does anyone here have Setanta on FIOS? If so, do you have to pay the extra $15/month that you do on DirecTV to get it?

ΓΌ75 said...

I don't have it, so I can't speak directly. My understanding is that Setanta is $15 across the board, no matter how you come to it.