Vital Football

What is setanta sports doing that is so wrong?

What is setanta sports doing that is so wrong?

Before I start, maybe I am being naive or missing a point, but I cannot see - although out of principle things are wrong - why they are any more wrong with one TV station than they are another...

Over the past few days, with England having both world cup qualifiers on setanta sports - with this going to be the case with all away games, and plenty of FA cup games and others - I have noticed that they have come in for a hell of a lot of criticism.

But is this really fair and just?

I am sure that I heard the England fans chanting 'we hate setanta' during the game with Andorra at the weekend? A friend and I had been drinking a fair bit but these chants continued throughout the game, and we are both sure that is what was being sung. We could not work out if this was due to the game kicking off late on a Saturday evening due to TV scheduling, the fact that the game was on setanta full stop, or maybe even both?

It appears it is because the game was on setanta full stop...

I say this as I have noticed more and more people around Vital Football complaining that England games should be on terrestrial TV, but to be fair why is what setanta are doing any different to what sky sports had been doing for the past decade or so? And will continue to do!

If I recall until recent years sky sports was the only place to watch most of England's games, and unless I am mistaken - and the bank has been direct debiting me, and thousands of others, each month for years - sky does not come for free! And that is putting aside the thought that not all of us even have sky!

Ok, maybe you have to pay a 'subscription' to get setanta, but they are hardly going to let you have the package for free are they! Sky has not been letting you have sky sports and the premier league and international games that go with it for free have they, and although most might have sky these days not all of us do, so it has not been as if 'all of us' would have been able to watch England games for free anyway is it...

At the end of the day the simple truth is things have 'come down to money', setanta offered the highest price for the right to show England games so instead of blaming them - and I know I hate the way TV dictates football these days as much as the next person - should we not be blaming the FA, or whoever it is that sold the England rights to the highest bidder?

They could have accepted a package - if there was one - from the BBC at a lesser rate, but they are the ones that have sold out. It just so happens that setanta, which comes with a subscription, are the ones the FA - or again as said, whoever sells the TV rights - sold out to, so is it not they that should shoulder most of, or at least share the brunt of the discontent?

Maybe we really are 'just a nation or moaners', as the British are often portrayed? People say that is what we are good at - maybe it is true? Recently more and more people have moaned and groaned that 'England does not mean anything to them these days', or at least 'as much', and/or 'they do not watch them anymore anyway' - so why moan when having the option to watch is taken away, not that it has technically been 'an option' that was viable to each and everyone of us - those with a TV when on terrestrial TV - for donkies years anyway...


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Date:Thursday September 11 2008
Time: 11:22AM


Intersting though that there is no coverage of action/goals on Sky, even 24 hours after the event. If it was on Sky to start with, the BBC would show highlights later. I wonder if this is part of the deal?
11/09/2008 11:42:00
A nice article Rug, something on a topic at a different angle. I would like to point out though that you get Setanta free with Virgin so I am not complaining. Plus it is a lot cheaper for people with sky to pay out the £10 a month for Setanta than me having to pay £18 a month to get Sky Sports.
11/09/2008 11:46:00
The biggest problem is Setanta's refusal to sell a highlights package to the BBC. With Sky you at least get to see the highlights on BBC or ITV but Setanta were apparently asking for way over the odds for the highlights package so kept it to themselves. It is my firm belief that certain sporting packages should either be free to air so everyone has the ability to see them or shoul be able to see highlights on free to air. The governement apparently agrees as it has ringfenced certain sporting events, it appears however that the qualifiers were not one of these. Which seems a bit odd as football is the biggest sport in this country (I believe) and if we don't get to the finals the qualifiers are the only time we get to watch them competitively.
11/09/2008 11:50:00
i didnt know about the refusal to sell a highlights package at a fair price - so on that thought setanta are wrong, but again to a degree that is the 'greed' factor of football isnt it... then again whoever sold the rights to the england games did not need to sell to the highest bidder did they? granted, they always would - that greed thing again - but its not exclusively setanta's fault, know what i mean?
11/09/2008 12:05:00
I got Sentanta at the start of last season for a trial as its non-subcription to go hand in hand with sky because of the new football tv deals that where signed, a year and a bit later and im still happy with it even more so now that the England games are on it so is the F.A Cup this season. Some people fork out £100's on sky HD with only around 12 active HD channels, fair play it thats your thing but i'd rather pay £10 a month for Sentanta and have tons of live football and tons of other interesting sports.
11/09/2008 12:07:00
Tip of the iceberg. You want prime stuff, you pay prime cash. How said it had to be fair.
11/09/2008 12:08:00
Good article and I heard the chants at the Andorra game and asked myself the same question. The prevarication of the terestrial channels allows anyone who wants to make a quick buck to splash out and hope to sell to the poor public. BBC have a Parliament channel so why not a Sports channel? But that still bodes the question why hate Setanta?
11/09/2008 12:17:00
I'll tell you why - because it new, because its change. If you want to watch live football on sentanta then you need to pay for it by either adding it to sky through non-subscription payments of £10 on top of your normal sky fee's or by having virgin and recieving it for free. If people are upset by this then dont blame sentanta as they are just a business like any other, if people want to blame anyone then blame the people who sold the package to the highest bidder in the first place.
11/09/2008 12:26:00
HAHAHA just noticed that Sentanta advertising is splashed all over this fantastic website!!! :-)
11/09/2008 12:39:00
im just as happy as sneakay on this one, i get it for free on virgin. setanta is just like any business, trying to make money. no-one bid as much as setanta, and no-one bid enough for the highlights programme, so that explains everything. last night setanta had a free highlights programme for the general public.
11/09/2008 13:04:00
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