Setanta Sports has ended exploratory talks that many believed would lead to a sale of the pay-TV broadcaster. It is understood that potential buyers, thought to have included BT, ITV and ESPN, had balked at the £1 billion pricetag.
The company has always denied that it had put itself up for sale, but had appointed Goldman Sachs, itself a 20% shareholder, to examine the approaches.
Setanta launched in 1992, but it wasn’t until 2003 that the company launched its subscription packages to the public at large. Its major breakthrough came with a successful £392 bid for Premier League football. A further £37.5 million bid for live rights to England international friendlies kicks in this autumn.
In its recent report the Setanta Question, Enders Analysis estimates the broadcaster to be halfway towards a breakeven target of two million subscribers.