Deathwatch: Setanta Sports falls into administration
After weeks in a sick-bed, horrible Irish broadcasters and winner of Bitterwallet readers' Worst Company of 2008 Setanta have finally fallen into administration, falling foul of those awkward contractual obligations that meant giving money to other people. By guest writer Nik Johnson, here's ten reasons why they're dead, and why, if they had a literal grave instead of a metaphorical one, he would do a little jig on it.
1) We demand more sport! Wait, no we don't. Setanta relied upon the theory that there wasn't enough sport out there, forgetting that every major sport has a TV presence already. Even bowling, and bowling is rubbish.
2) In an insane rush to get their hands on anything that Sky hadn't already taken, Setanta - possibly accidentally - ended up with the rights to football from across Europe. Seems they forgot that you could already see the best of teams you haven't heard of in the Champion's League or UEFA Cup.
3) Snaring the rights to England's away internationals should have worked in Setanta's favour, but consistent with them not really operating in the real world, they tried charging the BBC £1m to show highlights of just one match against Croatia. Humiliatingly, Setanta showed the highlights themselves afterwards. For free.
4) Old school UEFA Cup telly coverage used to be great, using Russian television pictures that are all blurry, like Vaseline smeared over a kaleidoscope. Setanta embraced this approach to picture quality, eschewing gimmicks like "high definition" and "watchability" for a blocky, perpetual snow effect.
5) Instead of starting small and growing, Setanta threw money around as though they were allergic to it. £400m to the Premier League, £150m to the FA Cup, £100m to PGA Tour Golf. At the time they went into administration, they needed every subscriber to convince their mum to join as well, just to break even.
6) The rose in Setanta's turd was Premier League football, offering 46 games that weren't available anywhere else. Problem was, they were the ones left over after Sky had picked the cream of the crop. Sort of like having to have the fat astmathic kid on your team because all the good players have been snapped up.
7) Cancelling Setanta, as many people tried to do, became a hilarious exercise in trying to explain to a child what you wanted. A child that barely spoke English and giggled as he wiped his bum with your letters. A fingers-in-ears approach delighted many, even earning the wrath of pious BBC complain-a-thon Watchdog.
8) Setanta Golf. Can anybody really love golf to the extent that they watch it all day every day? Really? Shows like 'Golf Fitness' and 'Personal Lessons'?
9) Some shocking footy pundits. With Steve McMananman and Tim Sherwood employed as the 'expert voices,' viewers found themselves yearning for a more educated insight, like the bloke who watches the footy in the corner of the pub on his own, while talking to his imaginary mate.
10) They brought Saint And Greavsie (pic left) back to our screens for the 2009 FA Cup Final. Proof positive that they didn't have a clue what they were doing.
(You can read more of Nik's witterings at Shouting At Cows)