Russian-born Len Blavatnik has purchased a small stake in Setanta Sports, according to the Sunday Telegraph. Blavatnik, who also owns a significant stake in Top Up TV, has acquired 3% in the company through his vehicle Access Industries.
On Friday Setanta, whose other backers include Goldman Sachs and the private equity groups Balderton Capital and Doughty Hanson, was told by the Premier League it had only succeeded in a bid for one of the six packages of live games that can be screened from the start of the 2010/11 season.
It means that Setanta will only have 23 Premier League Games per season, screened at Saturday teatime, while Sky’s bid has added the Monday night game to its portfolio that takes the satcaster to the maximum five packages allowed under European law.
While instructing financiers to raise the £159m needed to fund the games, it has emerged that Setanta may approach its rival to sublicense some of the matches included in the five Sky packages. Despite the setback Setanta’s football portfolio already includes England Internationals and The FA Cup, which will give Sky little reason to extend its largesse towards its smaller competitor.