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(See our earlier posts on this developing story: Setanta Faces Receivership Within Hours and Setanta's Circumstances Worsen and Setanta Looks For Survival Formula. Be sure to read the comments for all posts as they contain additional information. Update: 24-June: statement by AFL added.  Update: 25 June: further info from Setanta and the AFL for North American and UK fans added in comments. Update: 9 July: info for Rounds 14 and beyond for UK fans are in the comments and won't be further noted here.)

It was announced today (23 June) that Deloitte has assumed administration of the UK operations of Setanta.  Setanta's channel in Great Britain has gone off the air.  Setanta UK will be shut down and viewers of the AFL in the UK will lose coverage as a result.  For now, Setanta International is not part of the receivership proceedings and the US and Canadian channels will continue to operate.  Deloitte has indicated it seek a buyer for Setanta's remaining operations including the US and Canadian channels.  It appears that AFL will continue for an indefinite period in North America pending a sale and resolution.  Today's events may impact the ability to get a live signal to the US via fiber optic cable as the London operations will be out of the "link".  The loss of the UK operations may have other indirect impacts on the operations in Ireland and the US. 

Recent reports on the situation are on MSN (Reuters), MMAJunkie, Daily Mail, Channel 4, Irish Times, Bloomberg, and many others. 

AFANA has contacted the AFL regarding the situation and continues to work to maintain US coverage.  The AFL told AFANA on 24 June that: "the news in the last 24 hours is quite devastating. ... (we) are currently trying to work out alternative arrangements, whether that be interim or long term."  The AFL promised to keep AFANA informed of developments.

Article last changed on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 12:30 PM EDT


Posted by admincms on June 25, 2009

Setanta has the following statement posted on it's website and we repost it here without editing except for the web site link:

AFANA Chairman Emeritus and Site Admin
Setanta Sports USA
Important Customer Message

It has been announced by the Board of Setanta Sport Holdings Limited that it has not proved possible to secure the additional financing required to ensure the future viability of certain Setanta businesses in Great Britain. As a consequence, the Board has taken the decision to seek the appointment of Receivers to the parent company, Setanta Sport Holdings Limited, and certain subsidiaries in Ireland, and Administrators to certain English subsidiaries.

Setanta International is not covered by these appointments.
Setanta’s services in the US will continue to trade normally.

Also, it has been widely reported in various media channels, Setanta Sports has had its agreement to broadcast 46 Barclays Premier League matches in the UK terminated.

This development does not affect our channels and other services in the US.

Setanta Sports in the US is a separate operation that has separate agreement to show the Barclay’s Premier League. Our channels and other services in the US continue to broadcast and our subscribers can still enjoy our programming including the Lions Tour of South Africa and the UEFA U21 European Championship.

New customers are welcome to subscribe to watch some of the world’s best soccer and rugby either by contacting our cable and satellite partners or online.

We thank you for your continued interest in Setanta Sports and look forward to bringing you a wealth of sport over the coming months and years.

Posted by admincms on June 25, 2009

The AFL has posted the following statement on its web site as of Thursday 7:52 PM US EDT.  AFANA will monitor further posts and encourages fans in the UK to monitor this site and the AFL site.  We will attemp to keep our international listings updated if new coverage is announced.  We applaud the AFL for its swift reaction to the loss of coverage in the UK.

AFANA Chairman Emeritus and Site Admin
Important information for UK-based AFL fans

AS A result of the recent announcement that Setanta Sports UK has ceased trading operations there will be no AFL matches broadcast on television into the UK this weekend.The AFL is working to rectify this situation as a matter of urgency. Stay tuned over the next few hours for further updates. We thank you for your understanding.

Posted by admincms on June 25, 2009

The AFL has issued the following press release a few minutes ago on UK coverage this weekend.  We reprint it here as released:

(Ed. note:  Update 3 July:  this has been extended thru Round 14)

AFANA Chairman Emeritus and Site Admin

The AFL today announced an agreement with its digital media partner Telstra that will enable UK fans to view this weekend’s matches live online following the demise of the AFL’s UK television rights holder, Setanta Sports, earlier this week.

AFL Chief Operating Officer Gillon McLachlan said the one-off subscription free trial to viewers in the UK would give fans access to all eight matches live.
“We are pleased to be able to deliver free, live AFL content to our growing UK fan base this weekend and we thank our digital media partner Telstra for stepping in to help at short notice and significant expense” Mr McLachlan said.

Telstra Media Head of News and Sport David McGrath said BigPond had promptly assisted the AFL and its UK supporters in delivering this interim solution.
“AFL fans in the UK who log on to BigPond this weekend can catch every minute of live footy action. We worked quickly with the AFL to make a live video stream available free of any subscription fees to fans in the UK, while the AFL’s UK broadcast rights are being sorted out," Mr McGrath said.

UK fans wanting to see the Essendon Carlton clash live at the MCG tonight, as well as the seven other games in Round 13 of the Toyota AFL Premiership Season should go to and click on the links from the Home Page. Alternatively, fans can access the stream directly at
(Ed.note: 6/7/2010: link removed as it no longer works.)

Mr McLachlan said the AFL was in discussions about selling its UK broadcast rights to an alternative television network for the remainder of the 2009 season, and that UK fans would be kept updated on progress via the AFL website.

In a further note, subscribers to Setanta’s AFL package in Ireland, North America and Canada will be able view this weekend’s matches via the usual television channels.

Posted by admincms on July 09, 2009

The AFL has advised that for Round 15:  " will stream three live matches into the UK over the course of this weekend (England, Scotland & Wales). The three matches are Western Bulldogs Vs Collingwood, Brisbane Lions Vs Geelong Cats, and West Coast Eagles Vs St Kilda."

AFANA Chairman Emeritus and Site Admin

Posted by admincms on July 24, 2009

The AFL is continuing the online coverage for UK fans and extending to North America: 

"Please note that will stream all eight matches live into the UK, Ireland, USA and Canada over the course of Round 17."

AFANA Chairman Emeritus and Site Admin

Posted by admincms on July 30, 2009

The AFL has advised that online coverage for Round 18 will be as follows:

"Please note that will stream five matches live into the UK (England, Scotland and Wales), Ireland, USA and Canada over the course of Round 18. "

The five matches are:  North Melbourne v Carlton, Geelong v Adelaide, Collingwood v Brisbane, Melbourne v Richmond, and West Coast v Essendon.

There will be a major announcement later today (30 July 2009 US time) on the future of TV coverage in the UK, Ireland, USA, and Canada.

AFANA Chairman Emeritus and Site Admin

Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 01, 2009

Rob, Setenta as you may know has lost the contract to show any more AFL games. Apparantly ESPN has won the rights with the AFL, but have no idea if they intend on showing the rest of the games. Do you know where we can watch the footy, especially the upcoming final series? Thanks Ehab

Hi Ehab,

Not sure if you are referencing the changes in the UK or North America.  Regarding North America, we are well aware and in fact, we were the first web site to publish the news:

TV Coverage Returns to ESPN and TSN

We have our regular TV Info page updated with the latest confirmed information on the coverage.  The first three weeks of finals will have the same sort of coverage as Rounds 19-22 did.  The Grand Final coverage is still being confirmed.  We will have the schedules on our TV schedules page as soon as we know for sure.   We have some information for the UK on our international TV page.

If I didn't answer your question, please post again or contact us through our contact page using the link under the top menu.

AFANA Chairman Emeritus and Site Admin

Posted by Ehab (not verified) on September 22, 2009

Hi Rob, Yes, you answered my questions, thanks for that. Glad to see the Grand Final will be 'Live' on ESPN Classics. I'm interested to see if ESPN will continue next season with regular home and way 'Live' coverage like setanta used to do, or if they just going to show the one game for the year (the Grand Final). In which case I might have to change Cable/Satillite provider. Thanks Again... Carn the Hawks! Ehab

As our announcements indicate, ESPN has committed to air air only 4 matches live during the regular season, probably on ESPN2 or ESPN Classic.  The rest of the coverage will be on ESPN360.  It is unlikely we will see the return of coverage such as we had on Setanta before 2012.   The Grand Final should be live with coverage equivalent to or better than this year.

AFANA Chairman Emeritus and Site Admin

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