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.

The glory days of Setanta

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)


  • james
    does this mean theyll be more sport on itv and bbc or will sky nick it all at the end of the day ive no sympathy it was overcharged rubbish in my eyes and when you did wann cancel it you had to got to john ogroats and back just to speak to the right agent
  • jon
    oh joy setanta have gone now i have no sport at all, sky is a rip off and a con
  • Song B.
    Sky cant nick all of it as theyre are limited to prevent a monopoly situation. i heard espn picked up the premiership matches
  • james
    how much i an espn suscription
  • Tom P.
    Great, one Mickey Mouse outfit taken over by another Mickey Mouse outfit (ESPN). Setanta FAILED because their CEO didn't read my email. I told him to introduce nude ladies snooker...would have pulled in the punters and their profits would have skyrocketted.
  • Lee m.
    Espn will be available on the sky platform for £5 a month.
  • Lee m.
    Another thing im glad setanta are gone. My payment was due out in 4 days. Now back to sky. Will miss the NHL hockey.
  • andy y.
    I suspect a lot of non Sky owned channels on the Sky platform will go, there's probably 200 or so more tahn teh market can bear
  • scott w.
    virgin screwing everyone now setanta is gone. XL package is staying the same price! they better let me drop down to L or offer something else. This is crap bet the UFC goes to SKY and they make it pay per view!
  • Jim R.
    I will miss the Golf coverage and Sentanta had some great fights. No PPV
  • The B.
    ESPN Channel Ocho.
  • Bwah h.
    Setanta was bollocks anyway. Irish cunts.
  • acecatcher3
    what will b happening with ufc 100..............OMFG this better b cleared up soon im not missing that fightcard!!!!!!!!
  • The B.
    Isn't UFC on Bravo?
  • > H.
    I like the picture, Lynam in a yellow santa suit really does it for me.
  • Scott w.
    the UFC have put a press statement out saying that UFC 100 will be shown on UK tv. They have not said on what channel yet
  • James R.
    With the many FREE sources of watching premium football on the net I'm surpised they lived as long as they did - they should have remembered back to the shit old days of OnDigital
  • Other C.
    [...] – Deathwatch: Setanta Sports falls into administration [...]
  • Born2Hula
    I know I'm a bit late, but you missed out a big one. Apparently, when covering a match, Sky would ask for 2 parking spaces and 5 seats, Setanta asked for close to a hundred of each.. Dont quote the numbers, but it deserved to be on the list.

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