How will Setanta’s demise affect Arsenal?

In a world where football is a business and all clubs need to maximise their potential business opportunities, an increasing amount of revenue is being brought into the club by television deals – and Arsenal are no different – having various major deals in place with Virgin, Sky Sports and Setanta. The main Arsenal channel, Arsenal TV, has been built and broadcasted with Setanta and the recent problems that Setanta are having could pose a serious issue.

If you’ve not been aware, Setanta reportedly faces administration “within days” unless it’s current investors provide in excess of £50m which it owes the Scottish and English Premier League. With the recent uprising of Setanta as a major player in the sports market, there has been serious investment in the company – the investment has been spent in securing the deals that have seen Setanta take some serious football coverage from Sky Sports. However, as the credit crunch has hit, the investors really want some money back and having invested upwards of £400m+ they are unwilling to invest more without seeing a return in their profit – as a result, if Setanta are unable to pay their bills, they may be forced into administration.

The problem we may face is that we’re smack bang in the middle of this as we’d tied into a relationship with Setanta…

Arsenal Football Club has teamed up with Setanta Sports, signing a major six-year deal for Setanta to be the exclusive broadcaster of the new Arsenal TV channel.  The Arsenal TV channel is planned to launch in December and will become the tenth channel offered as part of the Setanta Sports pack on satellite. Arsenal TV will be included in the Setanta Sports pack at no extra charge. On cable, the channel will be available as part of the Setanta Sports pack via Virgin Media. Arsenal TV will also be available to Setanta customers in the Republic of Ireland.

But in reality, is their demise a good thing or bad thing – well, in depends on what monies we have already received from Setanta and whether they owe us any money. If they don’t then we can go back to the market for another broadcaster as all contracts will be null and void – but will we be able to get the same figures as agreed with the Irish sports broadcaster.

There have been problems in the relationship with Setanta recently stopping the broadcasting of Arsenal TV through the online portal. If the channel does go up in smoke, this could mean that a company like Sky – who run ManUtd TV or another broadcaster could come in. Interesting news is that ESPN is reportedly ready to snap up the business from the administrators if it comes to that and continue broadcasting.

Interesting times for everyone and it seems like Setanta couldn’t survive the “money makes the world go round” rise…

I’ll keep you posted as I find out more… at least it’s all happening post season…

  • Fo

    Another good reason why it’s very important to run your business (club) the right way to be able to ride uncertain markets – a way of life that Arsenal seem to have adopted…!


    Think you’ve nailed it – if they stay afloat nothing changes and if they go belly up we’re back on the market like a newly divorced man.

  • devday

    Although there may not be an attractive a woman out there if it does happen… let’s hope there is…


    personally I dont like setanta at all, Im an old school sky sports guy, if ESPN pick up setanta and im happy and sad at the same time lol- happy as i watch a lot of american sports and sad as I’d really prefer england/fa cup/premier league games on sky/bbc1 etc

    that said I hope Arsenal are good money wise and they dont owe us anything

  • Paul D

    There is also the loss of TV revenue, as Sentanta existing packages are likely to be reacutioned, and the Premier League will receive less money this time round, meaning teams relying on TV money from the premiership being in a bit of trouble

  • manoo

    I hate setanta, Having all the pl matches on sky sports and da FA cup on the BBC is much better, however itll be a bit crap if we’re still owed money by setanta if they do go into administration. Also, on a seperate point, i think that should get a masssive restriction on coverage. They are awful, and they crose the line in the everton pool fa cup game when they put an advert on during the only goal. Give the FA cup and england games to BBC and pl to sky sports like it used to be.

  • Berth

    This lads have spent quiet a lot of Money securing the right for premiership; at least they made the attempt to break the monopoly of Sky.That been said its quiet pathetic that they didn’t see that coming, considering they had fewer, at times less quality matches to show.

    What I hate in life is someone loosing his business after so much effort; its one thing I dread in life and is most annoying; the crunch obviously isn’t done yet, the next victims will certainly come, hope it does not go down to clubs, because the Virus (crunch) knows no one or how beautiful you are.

  • Berth

    Back to Arsenal – the love of the game has been my strength: Just thinking of the players we have at the moment –
    Arshavin, Rosicky, Nasiri, Walcott, V.P., Toure, Clichy, Sagna, Alumnia, Eduardo/Vela, – can someone tell me why these lads can’t win something next season; Zohaib, Kierean, Dev…

  • zohaib

    Cesc got hurt in the friendly Spain played recently. It was a head injury. Lots of bleeding. I forgot to watch the match and I don’t know how he is. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Let’s hope he’s okay, not in pain, and makes a full recovery quick. I want to see him in the Confederations Cup !

  • zohaib

    Berth – if it wasn’t for the crazy injuries that we’ve had over the last 4 years, we probably would’ve won something with the current squad, or at least been in the running for major honors every time.

  • devday

    Yes, Berth, I totally agree – with the amount of amazing players we have at the club, the amount of young talent, and a few additions – there is everything chance we can win something next season – the problem we find is that we’re in the most competitive league in the world…!


    There is also the loss of TV revenue, as Sentanta existing packages are likely to be reacutioned, and the Premier League will receive less money this time round, meaning teams relying on TV money from the premiership being in a bit of trouble

    Pretty sure when the packages were auctioned 12 months ago they went for record values – nothing much has changed in the financial climate – if anything we’re not sliding anymore. So you would expect the money to go up not down (assuming that there is actually a competitor to Sky). In fact if someone new steps in they will need to secure the football to make it worthwhile – something Sky will bank on and the price will rise even more.

  • cheese

    with the current young players reaching their peak of fitness and with holding injuries we have a major chance for next season,

  • Yemi

    My concern is the transfer market since we are being linked with everybody and anybody. I just hope we get our players quickly so they can join in the pre-season activities.

    I hope cesc’s injury is not much, i think that is part of the reason arsene is so skeptical about young theo. I saw this on eurosport regarding his injury(cesc). apparently its a head injury.

  • devday

    Latest statement from Setanta:

    “The Premier League has been working over the past weeks, with Setanta, to ascertain whether they are in a position to continue as the broadcaster of 46 UK live matches for the 2009/10 season.

    “Although the Premier League would like to provide Setanta with as much time as possible to re-arrange its finances, the start of the 2009/10 Season is only two months away, with the release of fixtures imminent.

    “Accordingly, the Premier League has notified Setanta that if necessary the existing licence agreement between us will be terminated, coming into effect if Setanta does not meet certain contractual requirements of the Premier League on or before Friday 19 June 2009.

    “In view of the shortage of time before the start of next season, the Premier League has determined, with the agreement of Setanta, that it shall today issue its Invitation to Tender (ITT) in respect of the 46 UK Live Matches for the 2009/10 Season only.

    “The bid deadline has been set for Monday 22 June but we will give all prospective bidders notice late on Friday 19 June if Setanta have met their conditions thereby negating the need for bids to be submitted.”