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Concern mounts for Setanta as it wins one TV right


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Guest Jeffery S.

I never asked and should have, given this thread I finally will: at the Andorra-England WC qualifier last September in Barcelona the England fans chanted "We hate Setanta" with frequency. I could not figure it out, and still don't get it, especially since England fans usually have plenty of other things to sing and chant. Any explanations?

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^PPV or is the proper term Premium? That's the case here in Canada. Setanta's monthly costs are much more than the other digital sports channels (e.g., FOX Sports World and GolTV).

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quote:Originally posted by Ed

^PPV or is the proper term Premium? That's the case here in Canada. Setanta's monthly costs are much more than the other digital sports channels (e.g., FOX Sports World and GolTV).

Its $14.99 a month to be precise. I subscribed so that I could see the Canada-Estonia game last year that was only shown on Setanta. I ended up keeping it for few more months.

It was expensive in my opinion considering the number of games that will be of actual interest to any individual viewer.

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quote:Originally posted by Jeffrey S.

I never asked and should have, given this thread I finally will: at the Andorra-England WC qualifier last September in Barcelona the England fans chanted "We hate Setanta" with frequency. I could not figure it out, and still don't get it, especially since England fans usually have plenty of other things to sing and chant. Any explanations?

In England setanta has exclusive rights to England highlights so channels like BBC and Sky cannot show English National Team highlights. Since setanta is a premium channel in England (much like in Canada), lots of people cannot watch the game or even the highlights unless they go to a pub. That is why the English NT fans were chanting "We hate setanta".

As for Setanta Canada as an avid Man. United supporter, I felt the need to dish out the $15 a month, I canceled during the offseason as to save money. Even though it costs $15 a month it is an improvement over the old sportsnet deal, because instead of only getting to watch 3 games a week, with setanta + sportsnet + the score every game PL game is available and almost all Man. United games are available live. What it means in the end is less streams and a much more enjoyable time watching the PL.

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Guest Jeffery S.
quote:Originally posted by leafdolfan

In England setanta has exclusive rights to England highlights so channels like BBC and Sky cannot show English National Team highlights. Since setanta is a premium channel in England (much like in Canada), lots of people cannot watch the game or even the highlights unless they go to a pub. That is why the English NT fans were chanting "We hate setanta".

As for Setanta Canada as an avid Man. United supporter, I felt the need to dish out the $15 a month, I canceled during the offseason as to save money. Even though it costs $15 a month it is an improvement over the old sportsnet deal, because instead of only getting to watch 3 games a week, with setanta + sportsnet + the score every game PL game is available and almost all Man. United games are available live. What it means in the end is less streams and a much more enjoyable time watching the PL.

Thanks for the explanation, appreciate it. Still, a pretty strong protest to be singing that at a qualifier just to embarrass the channel broadcasting the game.

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I imagine the situation is similar to that in Germany in which we pay a fairly small fee to see the games here in Setanta's case $15 and less in the case of Goltv. Yet in Germany the pay tv provider is the only source for the games and very expensive. I imagine that Setanta charges significantly more in England than it does here.

The pay tv situation in many European countries is really damaging to soccer and to some extent the leagues are taking a short term gain but hurting themselves in the long run. In Germany it has really removed the casual fan. You have the hardcore fans who go to games and are willing to pay for the pay tv broadcast but there is a lack of exposure for the games among the average populace. I would say the Bundesliga is far less popular in Germany than the NHL is here. There is a very large segment of the population that has no access to the games and as a result doesn't really care about or follow the matches. It is similar to how boxing's popularity declined massively once they switched to pay-tv broadcasts though not quite so bad yet. While soccer is part of the culture and a certain percentage of the population will always follow it, the leagues are losing the chance of gaining new fans and having large numbers of casual fans because many of these people have no access to the games and thus are not very interested.

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It's desperation time for Setanta

Setanta reaches out for more live matches• Pay-TV firm seeks urgent Premier League meeting

• Analyst predicts 'mass defections' by subscribers

Owen Gibson guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 10 February 2009 22.18 GMT Article history

Setanta won only one package for the rights to broadcast Premier League between 2010 and 2013. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

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. The Irish company won only one package for the rights to broadcast the Premier League between 2010 and 2013, cutting in half its current output. That would restrict coverage to 23 matches on Saturday evenings, which analysts believe may not be enough to sustain subscriber numbers and could plunge the loss-making channel further into the red.

The talks will revolve around trying to re-secure the Monday night package, which Sky won last week, but those close to the process believe that such a manoeuvre would be "virtually impossible". The auction process is heavily regulated by an independent scrutineer under a compromise agreement with the European Commission.

The six-year agreement, signed in 2005, allowed the Premier League to continue to auction its domestic rights collectively so long as its live matches were sold to more than one broadcaster. Last Friday, the Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore, unveiled the new domestic rights deal, which will bring in £1.782bn between 2010 and 2013.

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. It calculated that Sky had ended up with five packages after resolving to maintain the level of investment that has proved mutually beneficial for the pay-TV giant and the Premier League over the past 17 years.

Of Setanta, Enders said: "We must therefore envisage mass subscriber defections, with every 100,000 subscribers now worth approximately £10m on in annual revenues. Today, Setanta reaches about 1.5 million direct subscribers, slightly short of its required break-even total [estimated at around 1.7-1.8m at current prices]. With live Premier League football such a jewel in its crown, the fear is that Setanta could easily lose upwards of a third of its current subscriber base. At the very least it has to review its entire business plan and survival cannot be taken for granted."

But Setanta will hope to persuade its backers that it has a viable business, even with fewer Premier League matches. "That said, it may also be the case that many diehard sports fans will still want Setanta even with a reduced Premier League offering," Enders added. "As a result the net benefit of reduced rights payments and subscriber numbers may actually prove positive."

Setanta paid £159m for its package of 23 games, a significant reduction on its existing deal. However, the 20% reduction on it existing outlay on the Saturday evening package will reduce its cost base. It is believed that its strategy of trying to secure a discount on the £355m it paid for 46 matches under the existing deal backfired when Sky won the fifth of six packages on offer. Setanta had hoped to retain two but pay less.

Setanta is believed to be examining a number of options, including the possibility of persuading BSkyB to sub-licence the fifth package of Monday night matches back to the broadcaster. Although the two rivals co-operate on selling matches to pubs, a deal that also covers home subscribers is seen as unlikely – partly because it may fall foul of competition rules.

A spokesman for Setanta dismissed suggestions that the business is in trouble. "Following the outcome of the Premier League rights auction there is understandable speculation about the future of the business," he said. "But Setanta retain the right to show 46 Premier League games per season until the end of 2009–10, along with a host of other top-class sport including international football, the FA Cup, golf, boxing, Indian Premier League cricket and Guinness Premiership rugby."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/feb/10/setanta-tv-rights-premier-league-sky

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quote:Originally posted by Grizzly

The pay tv situation in many European countries is really damaging to soccer and to some extent the leagues are taking a short term gain but hurting themselves in the long run. In Germany it has really removed the casual fan. You have the hardcore fans who go to games and are willing to pay for the pay tv broadcast but there is a lack of exposure for the games among the average populace. I would say the Bundesliga is far less popular in Germany than the NHL is here. There is a very large segment of the population that has no access to the games and as a result doesn't really care about or follow the matches. It is similar to how boxing's popularity declined massively once they switched to pay-tv broadcasts though not quite so bad yet. While soccer is part of the culture and a certain percentage of the population will always follow it, the leagues are losing the chance of gaining new fans and having large numbers of casual fans because many of these people have no access to the games and thus are not very interested.

Agreed. Although I would have to think that there are fewer ways around this problem in Europe than there are in North American. With the soaring costs over the years in players wages and in transfer markets, how do you sustain this operating level with without an accompanying rise in broadcasting rights fees? And if you cant sell advertising time ( like you do in North American sports ) whose going to pay that kind of money to broadcast those games? Therefore, the only way to survive and compete is through some kind of "user pay" or PPV system.

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quote:Originally posted by VPjr

i love Setanta....best $15 per month i spend. I love GolTV too. FSWC is becoming less and less useful but Serie A and Argentine soccer on weekends keeps me watching

Well, subscribing to Setanta in 2009 probably yields greater value for the money than the time when I had it. Which was at the time of the Canada versus Estonia game. There are a lot of world cup qualifiers this year but in late 2006 and 2007, I really didn't see the value i retaining it unless you happen to like Rugby and Cricket in addition to soccer. There was no soccer in the summer months.

Don't forget, in an off year for WCQ or Euro qualifying, there might be 1-3 matches that you are dying to see. If that. Most of the other matches, I'll gladly watch if they're on but feel different about paying for it. When you consider that you pay $180 /yr, that's a lot of money if you compare it to the cost and value of attending a game live in person. Furthermore, you still have no control over what game they show live. So while there are a ton of WCQ played on a given day and time in Europe, there is only one they can show live. It may well be in the afternoon on a week day.

I'd rather a straight PPV to be honnest; let me pick and pay for the game that I want.

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While this is a problem for Setanta in the British Isles, it might not affect them as much here. The Premier League rights for Canada are sold as a whole, and they're currently owned by Setanta. That's why you can see every BPL match, even if they were originally shown on Sky Sports in the UK. Setanta also farms out games to the Score & Sportsnet.

Hopefully that stays the same. I think at worst, you might get a situation where the rights are split between Setanta and either Gol TV or Sportsnet.

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Guest Jeffery S.

Pay TV is really not a problem in Spain because the vast majority of the population lives in a dense urban setting with tons of bars. I literally have twenty bars within two minutes walking from my door. And some have football on constantly (those Pakistanis who show Argentina league and EPL), or do things like open late night for games in the Americas. Meaning though PPV is bothersome, and costly to have at home, a big sector of the population is fine going to a bar and watching the important matches.

The legal situation of football tv rights in Spain is such that things are crazier than ever, more matches than ever are on free channels, really one one each week for sure will not be, the Canal + late Sunday match.

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quote:Originally posted by Free kick

Agreed. Although I would have to think that there are fewer ways around this problem in Europe than there are in North American. With the soaring costs over the years in players wages and in transfer markets, how do you sustain this operating level with without an accompanying rise in broadcasting rights fees? And if you cant sell advertising time ( like you do in North American sports ) whose going to pay that kind of money to broadcast those games? Therefore, the only way to survive and compete is through some kind of "user pay" or PPV system.

I don't think it is football supporters responsibility to pay soaring players wages. Channels like Setanta are one of the reasons for the wages doing up. In my opinion most football supports are getting almost the same deal as before but have to pay more.

I don't really care what happens to Setanta, as all the games are online for free now. In my opinion the business model they have is broken and i hope that people are smarter than paying 14.99 per month for one channel, if not, oh well.

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I found this interesting in the above article from the Guardian:

quote:Originally posted by CanadianSoccerFan

Although the two rivals co-operate on selling matches to pubs, a deal that also covers home subscribers is seen as unlikely – partly because it may fall foul of competition rules.

Isn't this what happended here in Canada? Didn't the Score buy the entire package and then sublicensed all matches to the Sportsnet/Setanta group save for one 1st choice Sunday match? In Britain, it may be contrary to competition legislation, here, it's no problem. ;)

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Canada's competition regulation is pretty soft, but I think the EU goes too far in not giving the Premier League the freedom to sell their matches the way they want.

ps The Score doesn't seem to get first choice of the Sunday matches (ex. Liverpool vs. Chelsea a couple weeks ago).

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quote:Originally posted by masster

The reason they did that on that particular Sunday was because they had a Toronto Raptor's game at noon eastern time.

Thanks for the explanation. So it was a one time thing. That probably would have been The Score's highest rated soccer game this season, if they'd held onto it.
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quote:Originally posted by Rivaldo

Thanks for the explanation. So it was a one time thing. That probably would have been The Score's highest rated soccer game this season, if they'd held onto it.

I know. I was thinking the same thing when I saw the schedule. Unfortunate for them.

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