EPL could sell Setanta rights

Despite receiving some money against the £35m (E41m) it is owed, the English Premier League has told Setanta if it does not pay the balance by Friday, 19 June, it will put its remaining games – 46 live matches in the 09-10 season – out to tender.

“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 in respect of the 46 UK live matches for the 2009/10 season only,” the league said. “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.”

Meanwhile following last week's offer of a takeover from US investor Len Blavatnik, there is now said to be interest from Dutch media firm Endemol which is interested in leading a consortium to take 49% of Setanta.

Setanta, which suspended taking new subscribers last week said: “All of our channels are still broadcasting across all platforms and our subscribers can continue to enjoy our programming. We are taking subscriptions from new customers… both online and at our call centres.”

Setanta has around 1.2 million subscribers, but that is short of the estimation of industry analysts, who say it needs 1.9 million to break even. Deloitte has been lined up as administrator if Setanta’s efforts fail.

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