Setanta’s future is unclear once again after it suffered a double blow of having American billionaire Leonard Blavatnik pull out of a deal to invest £20 million in the beleaguered broadcaster and losing its contract with The English Premier League to broadcast 46 live games next season.
Setanta had been looking for investors for the past few weeks, and it initially looked very promising that a deal would be done with the American, who is estimated to be the 132nd richest man in the world.
However, negotiations broke down and Blavatnik’s company Access Industries released the following statement:
“Regrettably, despite intensive efforts on all sides over the past few days and despite significant progress in a number of areas, there remain a number of issues which we have been unable to resolve within the time available. We are disappointed not to have been able to make this deal happen.”
The Irish–run broadcaster’s future is now unclear, as the Premier League has said they will not renew their contract with Setanta after it failed to make an initial down payment, and the 46 game package is now on the open market.
The Premier League released a statement on the subject that said: “It is with considerable regret that we announce that Setanta has been unable to meet their obligations. As such the existing license agreement between us has been terminated with immediate effect.The Premier League will now go ahead and market the 46 UK live matches [held by Setanta] for the 2009/10 season.”
Setanta released the following statement in regards to the Premier League deal falling through:
“The board of Setanta notes the statement issued by the Premier League and will consider its options over the weekend. In the meantime, Setanta’s sports channels continue on air,” the company said.