BCI rubber-stamps creation of new Setanta

28 Jul 2009

The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has agreed to changes in the ownership structure of Setanta Sports Ireland and Setanta Sports North America.

The changes involve the purchase of the interests previously held by Setanta Sports, which went into administration in June.

As a result of the BCI’s decision, Denis Desmond’s Gaiety Investments will now increase its shareholding in Setanta Sports Ireland from 20pc to 60pc.

The remaining 40pc will be owned by a new company Sabloss Limited, whose main shareholders are Michael O’Rourke, Leonard Ryan and Mark O’Meara.

Sabloss has also purchased 100pc of the shares in Setanta Sports North America.  

The BCI also approved applications from Setanta Sports Ireland and Setanta Radio to provide two new satellite television services, which will be called Setanta Sports 1 and Setanta Sports respectively. Contracts for these services were signed yesterday, the Commission said.

Setanta Sports 1 will be a subscription service that will broadcast live and delayed sports programmes, sports news and highlights programmes to Irish audiences.

Setanta Sports will broadcast live and delayed sporting events, mainly at weekends, and will target audiences in Ireland and the UK. 

Speaking at the contract signing BCI Chief Executive Michael O’Keeffe said that “these are positive developments for the Setanta companies and for Irish broadcasting.

“Setanta has established itself as a key player in the broadcasting sector here and this new investment, coupled with the new channels, should secure its future in Ireland after a difficult number of months,” he said.

Separately, the Commission also announced that it had approved, in principle, the sale of Dublin’s Country Mix radio station to East Coast Radio. 

By Jennifer Yau

Article courtesy of businessandleadership.com