Wednesday, 10 June 2009

The possible imminent collapse of Setanta and the impact it will have on sport in the UK

Professional sporting bodies, teams and athletes will all be watching the news this week with great interest to see what is going to happen to Setanta Sports. For all of you unaware of what Setanta are they are a subscriber based sports platform to which its viewers pay a monthly view to watch its collection of sports channels which feature the likes of Premier League matches, golf, boxing, rugby and more. Now you may be asking how this will effect young people who want to get in to sport but please read on to find out who this could effect you.

The way the selling of sports right goes at the moment is that the governing body say for instance The FA will sell the rights to a sports channel to show its matches live, the FA would then distribute the money to the clubs in the league which matches are being aired and keep a percentage for themselves. The problem comes is when the clubs spend the money before they get it and then the deal falls through which is the situation we find ourselves in now.

Normally when professional sporting clubs hit hard times the first things to go or to be cut back are areas that don’t make them profit so area like youth development and coaching in the community can be cut back. This then has a long term effect on the quality of coaching offered to our sporting stars of tomorrow as well as effecting the number of opportunities available to them.

Sporting bodies who were also depending on the cash from selling the rights may then also scale back any youth development work they do as an organization and promotion of the sport which again will effect the number of young people taking up the sport.

When sport is on TV it can inspire and encourage people to give it a go but if Setanta does disappear some sports and teams may become less visible here in the UK if no other broadcaster picks up the rights. To those sports where the rights do get picked it isn’t all good news as now with less potential buyers in the market it will force down the price they can sell their rights for so leaving them with less money in the future.

I hope that some how a deal can be made that helps everyone as there are so many ramifications and people who would be effected if Setanta do go under.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"
”Shaking up the Youth of Today”

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