Setanta

The place to recommend (or otherwise) football or football-related TV programmes, DVDs, Videos and Movies.

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the hibLOG
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Post by the hibLOG » Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:17 am

Only £8 a month if you're subscribing through cable (ie Virgin Media), though you may have to commit to the 12 months for that - haven't read the small print yet...
Fraser

lbb
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Post by lbb » Wed Jul 25, 2007 3:31 pm

I've heard that if you phone up they will knock you back to the tenner though I've yet to do so myself.

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Post by Scottish » Wed Jul 25, 2007 3:56 pm

I was paying the satellite rate of £15 for myself plus £10.99 for my father on freeview. I rang them up a couple of days ago and just asked how I moved to £9.99 and no 12-month contract for both. Would they do it automatically or did I have to cancel the existing direct debits and re-subscribe? I didn't want to give them the opportunity to argue about it.

No problem, they moved the existing payments to £9.99 for both.

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Post by lbb » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:20 am

Oo-er. :o

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/dis ... 31.0.0.php

ALL 12 SPL clubs are today anxiously seeking confirmation their TV deal with Setanta Sports is not under threat after it was reported the satellite broadcaster want to renegotiate their £150million contract with the English FA.

The Irish-based company have a deal with the SPL worth £54.5m which runs until 2010, and last year agreed a new contract worth £125m which is set to extend until 2014.

However, after losing the rights to one of the two packages of Premier League matches in the latest round of bidding, concerns have grown about Setanta's ability to hold on to subscribers.

Now, with reports claiming they have delayed making a scheduled £10m payment on their contract with the English FA, and that they want to hold talks to renegotiate the terms of that four year-deal, fears are multiplying within the Scottish game.

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Post by Scottish » Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:47 pm

Image

Image

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Post by Scottish » Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:29 pm

Or, as Chico Marx intended to say, "There ain't no Setanta clause"

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Post by lbb » Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:47 am

I'll be sorry to see Setanta go, if that's what happens. For a long time, they've been the only show in town for Scottish football and I can't think of any broadcaster out there who is willing to devote several hours of broadcasting each week to Scottish football. People are dreaming if they think Sky or ESPN are going to broadcast St. Mirren v Falkirk. It will be left to BBC Scotland to pick up the pieces - at a price lower than they pay Jonathan Ross - and broadcast only in Scotland. In all ways, financially and commercially, it will be a backwards step but there will be no other choice.

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Post by Scottish » Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:49 pm

Only thing I'd disagree with is the idea that broadcasts would be only in Scotland if the BBC step in. That's happened in the past when another broadcaster has had the rights to the same game but if it is an exclusive contract there's no real reason for the Beeb to black out the broadcasts and lately they've made no effort to do so even when - as in the Scottish Cup Final - Sky have also shown the match.

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Post by lbb » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:29 am

Yet it was Scotland-only broadcasts when they held the contract from 2002 until 2004. They only paid for UK rights for the four Old Firm matches. The rest of the live matches were only available within Scotland and could not be viewed on Sky boxes, for example, down south. This led to a lot of people in England having Sky viewing cards sent to addresses in Scotland.

The BBC is very strict with rights and I'd be surprised if they broadcast the Scottish Cup Final UK-wide if they did not have the rights to do so.

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Post by Scottish » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:05 am

It was MAINLY Scotland-only broadcasts in 2002-04. The BBC screened OF games UK-wide. Setanta held the rights for the rest of the UK and the ROI. At that time they only showed the live matches and took either the BBC feed or their own programme broadcast from Dublin. See HERE and subsequent articles linked here

Setanta came in AFTER the BBC deal was signed (hence the OF games going ahead UK-wide).

That deal represented the worst possible obtainable for all SPL clubs bar two (no prizes for guessing) as attendances fell by almost 800 per match over the two seasons to the lowest levels since the inception of the SPL. The reason for that isn't hard to find. With all OF away games available on terrestrial TV fewer OF fans travelled away.

Comparing 2003-04 with 2001-02 Aberdeen were down over 3,500, Livingston close to 3,000, Hibs almost 2,500, Dundee nearly 1,000, Partick Thistle by 950, Kilmarnock almost 700. Hearts, Dundee United and Dunfermline all suffered smaller losses but losses nonetheless. Perversely, Motherwell alone of the non-OF clubs showed an increase.

If a similar deal emerges this time then the same will happen again, only from a lower starting point.

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Post by lbb » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:57 am

It would be interesting to see the comparison of attendances between 2002-03 (a BBC season) and 2000-01 (a Sky season). 2002-03 was a close championship and there was still some semblance of quality playing in Scottish football at that time. Anecdotally, I don't recall large numbers staying away from SPL grounds in that season. 2003-04, in contrast, had Celtic running away with the title fairly early on and all clubs, barring Celtic, had suffered a real drop in quality from the beginning of the decade.

I would be disappointed with a BBC deal for a couple of reasons. Broadcasting only in Scotland puts us closer to the Leagues of Wales and Northern Ireland - provincial affairs of interest only to yokels who know no better. A UK broadcast at least gives us some credibility. I also found the BBC's coverage from 2002 to 2004 to be very amateurish and a weekly run of Craig Paterson, Paul Mitchell and Dougie Donnelly will have viewers pining for John Hartson and Ian Crocker in no time.

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Post by lbb » Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:13 am

The way we were. Someone should give this prescient individual a knighthood and an apology. Sunday Herald, March 21, 2004 -

David Murray has launched a stinging criticism of the SPL for agreeing a television deal with Setanta Sport rather than the BBC. Murray said he feared Scottish football could "end up in a Nationwide situation" and criticised the SPL for declaring the deal was done before Setanta's resources had been fully investigated.

SPL auditors are still carrying out due diligence to satisfy themselves about Dublin-based Setanta's accounts, but the governing body have already announced that a £35 million, four-year deal has been agreed in principle. Nine SPL clubs voted to accept Setanta's offer at a Hampden board meeting last month, with only Rangers and Celtic voting against and Dundee United abstaining.

"I'd have done the BBC deal without a shadow of a doubt," said Rangers' honorary chairman. "It's safe, it's secure, it's not as many games being shown live. I would rather have certainty. There must be uncertainty at the moment because we're doing due diligence on Setanta.

"What the SPL have done is like buying a house without doing a survey first. I don't think it's in the best interests of Scottish football."

The BBC offered £6m a year to broadcast 24 live games, compared to Setanta's 38 matches, but the offer excluded two Old Firm games per season. Murray's contention was that those games could have been sold on a one-off basis for £1m a time, meaning the overall income was equal to Setanta's offer and far more secure.

"Financially the BBC deal might not have been any less than Setanta's. So why have the clubs done it? I think some of them wanted to announce it, to put in their cash flow that they've got this money coming.

"John McClelland [Rangers' chairman] voted against it and came out of the meeting and said to me 'I can't believe this has happened'. Celtic voted against it too. I just think the length of the contract is too long for someone who doesn't have a financial track record.

"That's borne out by the fact we are doing financial diligence. You wouldn't be doing financial diligence on Sky or the BBC would you?"

"My fear is that we end up in a Nationwide League situation," said Murray.

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Post by Scottish » Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:36 am

lbb wrote:It would be interesting to see the comparison of attendances between 2002-03 (a BBC season) and 2000-01 (a Sky season).
SPL averages:
2001 15,905
2002 15,988
2003 15,626
2004 15,209
2005 15,662
2006 16,191
2007 16,194
2008 15,543
2009 15,538

You'll see from those that, other than the exceptional circumstances of 2007-08 when Gretna replaced Dunfermline, the biggest drops were in the two seasons when BBC Scotland broadcast live. For 2008 I reckon around 400 of the missing 651 can be attributed to the loss of Dunfermline and their replacement by Gretna.

Clearly, when live football is available on terrestrial TV at no additional cost to the viewer then attendances suffer. That's a statement that belongs in the realm of the bleedin' obvious - except where SPL chairmen are concerned.

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Post by Scottish » Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:48 pm

As of now they are no longer taking new subscriptions which suggests that their Frank Sinatra moment (and now the end is near and so I face the final curtain) isn't too far away.

Leaving aside the knock-on effects on the SPL for a moment it is not a good thing for competition in the satellite TV market to be reduced. Setanta started from humble beginnings, showing Irish sporting events to expat audiences. They kicked off when the Ireland - Holland match at the 1990 World Cup wasn't broadcast in the UK. No one showed the same gumption when the Scotland-Sweden game in the same tournament was shown in Scotland only. Think about that. Less than twenty years ago and it was unthinkable for more than one football match to be shown by BBC & ITV at the same time. Setanta deserve a lot of credit for their enterprise but it looks like their attempt to compete with Sky for the English Premiership has been their undoing. That and the stupid decision to launch a 24-hour sports news channel.

How daft was that? Consider this: Sky Sports News was already available at no cost to everyone with Freeview. Setanta Sports News wasn't available on Freeview - EVEN TO SETANTA SUBSCRIBERS.

Failure to add their additional channels to Freeview subscribers also affected their subscription base and persisting with Celtic and Rangers TV after those channels failed to attract enough people to make them available through individual subscription (and what does that tell us about the OF's alleged huge fan base?) was also a drain on cash.

The future is unclear save to say that whoever - if anyone - comes in for the SPL, whether it's the BBC, Channel 5, ESPN etc they will pay a lot less than the existing contract and there's precious little chance of legal action against Setanta raising cash for anyone except lawyers.

As for the three unnamed SPL clubs allegedly in deep trouble if Setanta folds, I think its fairly obvious Hearts & Kilmarnock are two of them. I'm not sure of the third. Not the OF obviously. Doubtful if it is Hamilton (not long enough in the SPL to become dependent on TV cash), St Johnstone (ditto), Hibs (raked in a small fortune in transfers in the past few seasons), St Mirren (just sold their old ground). Aberdeen and Dundee United have downsized considerably in recent years. Falkirk are the most parsimonious club in Scotland.

Surely Motherwell aren't heading for administration again?

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Post by Scottish » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:33 pm

Just seen the STV clip with the boy Broadfoot predicting apocalypse now. His certainty that "at least" (his words) one SPL club will go under prompted me to do some back of a fag packet calculations. The current Setanta deal is worth £13.625M per year. 48% of that is evenly divided between the 12 clubs and the remainder allotted according to league position on a sliding scale. Now I stress here that I don't know how this 52% is divvied up or whether the £3M covered by the SPL was the final payment for 2008-09 or the initial payment for 2009-10 (though I suspect the former). But I do know (or rather my calculator does) that 48% of £13.625M is £6,540,000. That in turn divided by 12 is £545,000. So, every club is due a minimum of £545,000 OVER THE SEASON. Given that the 'missing' payment is £3M in total it is unlikely in the extreme that clubs were all due a payment of over half a million each in a lump sum over the summer.

I mention this because the STV report emphasised the dependence on Setanta cash at a time when there is no turnstile income. STV appear to be somewhat behind the times here as the summer is the time when clubs these days take in MOST of their income as this is when season tickets get renewed.

To cut a long story short it is much more likely that the Setanta cash has been earmarked for players wages, signing-on deals, squad size etc (or in the case of the OF, loose change) than for day-to-day running costs in the close season or debt repayments. And even if it has been budgeted for paying back creditors the amounts involved, while vast to the ordinary punter, are comparatively small in the greater scheme of things. For example, assume a club has budgeted for a decent position in the league and around 10% of the remaining kitty then you get £545,000 + £708,500 = £1,253,500 over the season. Or around £105,000 per month. Similarly if a club has budgeted for a low finish NEXT season and around 5% of the remainder then they will be due a total payment of £545,000 + £354,250 = £899,250 or just under £75,000 per month.

Now I don't wish to trivialise things. That's a substantial loss to most clubs - if it comes to that, though some of that loss will be recouped in any subsequent deal (and there WILL be a deal of some kind). But at worst (and bearing in mind the June payment has been met by the SPL) assuming the next payment is due in SEPTEMBER then most clubs will be expecting a payment of between £225,000 - £315,000 then.

Obviously they won't get that much from another broadcaster and there are going to be consequences in terms of squad numbers, contract lengths, bonuses, signing-on payments, transfer fees and funds etc as well as significant effects in the future as a four-year signed deal appears to have gone up the Suwanee.

BUT - and it is a Hartson-sized BUT (with one T) - no club should go under based on these kinds of figures. Remember, the outstanding payment has been met by the SPL. There is no reason to suppose clubs are due any more money from Setanta over the close season.

Of course these are top-of-my-head figures. I don't have the insider knowledge of Darryl Broadfoot and my Economics Higher comes from a time when use of an abacus was prohibited in the exam room but I fail to see why advance knowledge of a cash shortfall in a few months time should lead to disaster now or - given the sums involved, the forewarning received and the opportunity to salvage something from the Setanta wreckage - even then.

Until actual names are put to these alleged "SPL chairmen" and clubs are publicly identified as being at risk with a clear explanation as to why then I think this is just media scaremongering. Yes, Setanta is a big story. Yes, it also provides a welcome distraction for a press pack that can only wring so much out of daily OF management and transfer speculation. But no it doesn't herald the collapse of any SPL club.

Unless, of course, my sums are way off beam. They could well be but in the absence of any detailed knowledge of how the financing is paid they're as good a guess as anyone else's, including, I suspect, Darryl Broadfoot's.

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