THE NEW PREMIER LEAGUE season may only be two weeks away, but embattled Irish broadcaster Setanta Sports is still without a sponsor for its live coverage.
The broadcaster, set up by Irish pair Michael O’Rourke and Leonard Ryan, is reportedly seeking about €150,000 for sponsorship of its 33 Saturday afternoon matches, despite the media value being worth €325,000, according to adworld.ie.
The package would include strings, promotions, TV commercials, and coverage on the broadcaster’s website.
The absence of a title sponsor indicates that the Irish subscription-only broadcaster has not fully recovered from the financial woes that nearly claimed it last year and which saw its UK operations collapse.
Setanta’s Irish operations were taken over by the Gaiety Investments consortium last year after the UK arm went into administration, leading to Disney’s ESPN entering the UK market to take over the Premier League rights in that jurisdiction.
The UK business collapsed with £550m (about €660m) of debt last year. Its creditors received just 2p for every pound the broadcaster owed it.
The collapse was led by poor subscription rates on the back of Setanta securing the British TV rights to just 23 live Premier League games for the coming season, compared to the 46 it had previously held. Sky Sports will carry the games Setanta had originally bought.