Setanta pays some bills

Chris Forrester

Setanta seems back in control today, as it has paid at least some of its pressing debts, and renegotiated others. It needed to: the English (soccer) premiership says unless it is fully in funds from Setanta by this Friday it reserves the right to sell its matches to another broadcaster.

Setanta has already paid 10m of the 35m due to the soccer Premier League and will reportedly pay another 10m this coming Friday. The final 15m has been renegotiated and will be paid later this summer. However, the Premiership has formally warned the pay-TV broadcaster that it reserves the right to re-auction the 2009-10 season if it sees any problems with Setanta's rescue plan.

Today's premiership statement said: "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.

Setanta is now in the course of being acquired by Len Blavatnik, possibly with help from reality producer Endemol, although some reports suggest the Endemol interest has cooled.

The incoming investor/s are carrying our due diligence on Setanta, and it is understood this should be complete by the end of the week.