Endemol watching Setanta

By Julian Clover | June 15, 2009

Endemol has emerged as a potential investor in Setanta Sports as the premium channel edges away from imminent administration.

The production company most associated with formats including Big Brother, Deal or No Deal, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Star Academy and Wipeout could join Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, which on Friday announced it had tabled a £20 million offer for a 51% stake. However, it now seems unlikely that Endemol will become an equal partner in Setanta, with some sources suggesting it may step back altogether.

Founded in 1994 by the merger of companies owned by successful Dutch producers Joop van den Ende and John de Mol, Endemol is now owned by a consortium consisting of Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Mediaset Group and Cyrte Group. It has recently established a small sports production facility and has hired a number of staff from producer TWI.

Setanta currently uses facilities at ITN for some of its studio-based production, including Setanta Sports News, which is jointly owned with Virgin Media. O21 Television covers the Scottish Premier League and Arena Television the English Premier League.