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EPL gives Setanta Friday deadline

The English Premiere League (EPL) has issued a warning to ailing sports broadcaster Setanta Sports that it will re-auction the broadcasting rights for matches awarded to Setanta if it fails to pay its latest instalment by Friday.

In a statement, the EPL said that, with the start of the season just two months away, it was prepared to terminate the contract with Setanta if payments are not made by the end of the week. The broadcaster is currently trying to refinance in time, with Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik expected to acquire a stake worth £20m (€23.7m) in the company and production company Endemol also rumored to be interested.

In the latest twist, Barry Maloney has left the board of Setanta to avoid a conflict of interest relating to Blavatnik’s proposed investment. Maloney is a partner with venture capital group Balderton Capital, which owns more than 20% of Setanta and is also an investor in pay-DTT company Top Up TV, controlled by Blavatnik’s holding company Access Industries.

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