STV 'Disappointed' at Collapse of Setanta

STV has said it is “disappointed” by the collapse yesterday of the British arm of pay-TV broadcaster, Setanta Sports – for the last few years, the Irish broadcaster has been renting STV facilities to make programmes.

Administrators, Deloitte, took over the reins of the company yesterday, saying around 200 of the company’s 420 staff would likely lose their job – of whom around a third are based in Scotland.

The remaining 220 posts involve the company’s Irish and international employees and it’s not known what their fate is.

The company has 1.2 million subscribers, but was forced to forfeit its deal to show 46 English Premiership football matches after missing a £10 million payment. The Scottish Premier League cancelled its contract on Monday after the company missed a £3 million payment.

STV rented studio, transmission and post-production facilities to Setanta at its Glasgow, Pacific Quay headquarters. Its current deal was due to run out in the middle of next year and it involved the hiring out of staff.

Said a spokesperson: “We are disappointed that Setanta has been unable to resolve this situation. Sport is important to STV and we are considering our options regarding our future involvement in the football coverage market.”

The best-known faces at Setanta were broadcasters, Jim Delahunt (previously STV) and Rob McLean (previously BBC Scotland), supported by former footballers, John Hartson, Scott Booth and Stuart Lovell. Operating from its own floor in STV’s four-floor base, Setanta also produced programmes covering German, French and Dutch football, plus dedicated channels for Celtic and Rangers football clubs.

It’s believed around 50 staff were present yesterday when representatives of Deloitte came in to break the news and say that the only compensation would be statutory redundancy – from the government.

The hope will be that another broadcaster will wish to show Scottish football on the TV and will require the infrastructure that was Setanta’s.

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