Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Irish Broadcaster Secures Pounds 213m in Private Funding

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Irish Broadcaster Secures Pounds 213m in Private Funding

Article excerpt

SPORTS channel Setanta secured a major funding boost ahead of its Premiership ratings battle with BSkyB next season.

Setanta said it had signed agreements worth pounds 213m with a number of private equity firms including Goldman Sachs and Doughty Hanson.

The Irish broadcaster broke BSkyB's monopoly on live Premiership matches in May when it paid pounds 392m for rights to 46 top flight games each season for the next three years. Last week BT announced it would be streaming Setanta's live Premiership coverage on its new next generation television service, BT Vision.

Setanta said it will use the money to pay for the rights, as well as market the service and bring in presenters and producers to front the coverage.

The company also intends to spend some of the cash on a new 24-hour golf channel, which launches in January and will feature live US PGA tournaments.

Leonard Ryan, co-founder and joint chief executive, said: "Not only have we secured top-flight sports content, but we are now fully funded to realise our ambitions to be the premier sports channel in the UK across all platforms. …

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