Reports in the press in the United Kingdom have been detailing the struggle by Setanta to find additional financing to meet payments due for rights fees for various sports, primarily soccer. Given the current economic environment and the substantial debt and obligations facing Setanta it is by no means clear they will survive though prospects are improving.
See reports in the Times Online registered access Sportsbusiness. The crisis has been triggered by the recent awarding of rights for Premier League coverage in the UK for the next few seasons.
Setanta lost out in the bidding on much of its existing coverage and now faces only having 23 matches per year in the future. This significantly reduces its value to subscribers in the UK watching it to see soccer. The channel should be available on almost all U-verse systems nationwide now or will be available soon.
Footy fans who have been patient since Setanta started footy TV coverage should now be seeing increased opportunities to subscribe. Carriage will be on all RCN systems that are "all digital" as channel A free preview of Setanta Sports will be available from December 8th through 22nd. RCN has indicated that areas not currently all digital will gain Setanta when they are converted to all digital in near future.
Initially, the service is only available only to viewers in the Boston, Massachusetts metropolitan area as channel Setanta Sports debuted on Comcast with little notice to football fans on Nov.
Comcast has indicated that as Comcast systems across the country become all digital, Setanta will be added on a progressive basis. Boston area fans can subscribe now.
It was announced on Wednesday and confirmed today that Setanta will begin appearing on cable systems in northern Virginia owned by Cox Communications.
That will eventually be followed by wider distribution on Cox systems nationwide. At this time no definitive schedule for the rollout on Cox has been released but it will likely take several months or more.
Thus it is not known how soon viewers on Cox systems can expect it to be available in their area of the United States fans are encouraged to call their local Cox cable office but understand that they may not know the local rollout date just yet.
Cox has indicated Fairfax area fans may subscribe as early as today ch.