Setanta Sports USA To Go Dark Feb. 28/Fox Soccer Nearing Deal For Setanta Sports USA


Thread Starter
Baby, It's Cold Outside
Dec 22, 2005
Front Range, Colorado
NOW, the question is, will FOX be taking over the channel slot and be able to keep an additional soccer presence on DISH and others.
And will FSC and FSC+ both be HD channels?

Why couldn't have Setanta just waited 6 months to go under then we'd probably have both of those channels in HD for sure!

Setanta Sports USA To Go Dark Feb. 28
Premium Network, Transferring More Programming Rights To Fox Soccer, Will Also Cease Caribbean Operations
Mike Reynolds -- Multichannel News, 1/27/2010 3:03:47 PM

Setanta Sports, as expected, will pull the plug on its premium channel in the U.S. and the Caribbean on Feb. 28.
The programmer on its Web site, www., and through a press release issued today said that it has reached an agreement to transfer select programming rights, including premium soccer and rugby events, to Fox Soccer Channel on March 1. The document also indicated that Setanta will cease broadcasting its premium channel in the U.S. and the Caribbean.
Earlier this month, Fox Soccer Channel said it would reclaim top soccer rights -- Barclays Premier League and UEFA Champions League -- that it had been sublicensing to Setanta and that they would become part of its own premium channel, Fox Soccer Plus, which is scheduled to kick off March 1.
According to Twitter feed, broadband service, Setanta-i, will also not operate past Feb. 28.
Fox Soccer Channel had been said to be in negotiations to purchase Setanta Sports USA outright. It was unclear at press time if Fox Soccer was negotiating to take over channel positions housed by Setanta Sports USA. The premium channel currently counts DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon FiOS, AT&T-U-verse and RCN Corp., as well as Comcast and Cox in select markets, as affiliates.
Sources suggest that Setanta Sports USA counted upward of 120,000 subscribers for its premium service.
Setanta officials in the U.S. did not respond to a request for a comment.
Fox Soccer issued the following statement: "We are finalizing the transfer of select programming from Setanta and will announce those specific rights when the negotiations are completed."
For the remainder of January and throughout February, Setanta said it would continue to broadcast its usual lineup of games from the Barclays Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, Heineken Cup, Magners League and Guinness Premiership.
Setanta said its operations in Canada are not impacted by this transaction and will continue to operate under the joint ownership of the Setanta Group and Rogers Communications.
Commenting on the transaction, Leonard Ryan, co-founder of Setanta Sports said: "This is a significant milestone in the re-organisation of Setanta Sports, following the acquisition of Setanta's businesses in Ireland, the U.S., Canada and Australia in July 2009. Having examined several options for our U.S. business, we concluded that the best course of action for the Group is to exit the U.S. market and to concentrate on other markets where we can be a more substantial player in sports television. This transaction enables us to achieve that objective and to explore new opportunities in other markets."
Last summer, Setanta fell into receivership in the United Kingdom.
Since acquiring the non-UK businesses of the Setanta Group in July 2009, the programmer said it has refinanced Setanta Ireland, followed by renewal of key properties such as the Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League. This business, according to Setanta, remains profitable and is in a strong position in the Irish sports TV market.
In addition to Canada, where Setanta said its business is at an all-time high, the company said its portfolio in Australia is also performing well.
Elsewhere, the company said it would launch Setanta Bet, an online sports gaming system, next week.

Fox Soccer Nearing Deal For Setanta Sports USA
Mike Reynolds -- Multichannel News, 1/8/2010 3:07:10 PM

Fox Sports International is moving toward finalizing a deal to secure key rights from or make an outright purchase of premium programmer Setanta Sports USA.
It was unclear, though, what, if any, form Setanta might take under the direction of Fox Soccer Channel here in the U.S.
The announcement could come within a matter of days, said sources familiar with the negotiations.
Representatives for both Setanta and Fox Soccer declined comment.
Web site EPL Talk, which follows England's Barclays Premier League, reported earlier this week that the domain name was registered on Dec. 9 and that Twentieth Century Fox Film. Corp. secured trademarks for both Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Soccer + for TV and the Web a week later.
Setanta Sports USA, which counts Comcast and Cox as affiliates in select markets, as well as DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon's FiOS, AT&T's U-verse and RCN, has removed the matches from England's Barclays Premier League and UEFA Champions League from its list of properties and TV schedule on its Web site, Home US | Setanta. Poor weather in England may halt a number of BPL matches this weekend.
Fox Soccer, which controls BPL rights in the U.S., had been sublicensing them to Setanta Sports USA. Last August, on the eve of the English circuit kicking off its 2009-10 season, FSC transferred the rights to 48 of the league's matches, which had been held by Setanta, to ESPN2.

That deal came on the boots of ESPN picking up the rights to 46 BPL matches in the U.K. during the 2009-10 season from Setanta Sports, which couldn't make its payments and fell into receivership in that nation. The sports programming giant, in turn, converted its ESPN America service on Aug. 3 to showcase those matches, as well as the international sports and an array of U.S.-oriented sports that previously aired on the channel.

Back in the States, Fox Sports International, last fall, secured the U.S. rights to the BPL for the 2010-11 through 2012-13 seasons, but has yet to announce any sublicensing deals.

For their parts, FSC and Setanta last spring, via a joint blind bid, wrested the U.S. rights to the Champions League from ESPN2 after a 15-year run.

Moreover, during Cable Show 2008 in New Orleans, FSC and Setanta announced that they had acquired the U.S. rights to the FA Cup, the oldest club knockout competition in England.

At press time, Setanta Sports USA's Web site continued to list a host of other properties. On the soccer side that still included the FA Cup, plus the Carling Cup, the Coca Cola Championship, international friendlies, Scottish Premier League, MUTV (Manchester United TV) and Chelsea TV. It also showed Gaelic Sports, such as Irish football and hurling, as well as a host of top rugby fare. (In November, Setanta Sports USA announced that it had renewed U.S. rights to an array of important rugby competitions through 2014.)
Where any of those properties might fit into Setanta under the direction of FSC, now headed by David Nathanson after David Sternberg exited last month, were among many unanswered questions at press time.
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Thread Starter
Baby, It's Cold Outside
Dec 22, 2005
Front Range, Colorado
Anyone heard if FSC+ will be ala carte like Setanta, or maybe if it will go in the Sports Package?

Or will it just be in a higher tier package, no extra per month charge?

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