Liberty Global could be interested in Setanta channel

International cable operator Liberty Global could be interested in acquiring a stake in the Irish activities of Setanta Sports, according to local reports. The pay-TV group went into administration yesterday, following the acquisition of the English Premier League rights it formerly held to US-based sports broadcaster ESPN.

Liberty Global, which owns Irish cable operator NTL/Chorus, already carries Setanta’s Irish channel on its network. Music promoter Denis Desmond, who owns a 20% stake in Setanta, is reported to be interested in buying the channel, possibly in partnership with Liberty. Setanta’s founders Leonard Ryan and Michael O’Rourke are reported to be interested in acquiring the group’s international business.

Setanta, which has one million UK subscribers and 200,000 in Ireland, is to stop broadcasting in the UK following its move into administration. About 200 UK staff have been laid off. However, its Irish and international activities will remain in operation while talks with potential buyers continue. 

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