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Setanta Sports goes off air

By Benjamin Cohen

Updated on 23 June 2009

Struggling sports broadcaster Setanta goes off-air after announcing it is to axe 200 jobs as efforts to rescue the business fail.

Setanta (Reuters)

The firm, which has been hit by the loss of football television rights in England and Scotland, went off-air to viewers in Britain at 6pm this evening.

The wind-down of Setanta's British business, which employs 420 staff, will mean 200 job losses, administrator Deloitte said.

Setanta's international and Ireland businesses will continue to trade while talks with possible buyers are under way.

The broadcaster, which has 1.2 million subscribers, has suspended the collection of subscription payments from customers in the UK.

The move comes just 24 hours after the Premier League handed Setanta's football rights to US broadcaster ESPN.

News of the Premier League's sale followed an announcement yesterday by the Scottish Premier League that it was ditching Setanta and looking for another television partner.

Cash-strapped Setanta missed a £3m  payment to the SPL and failed to meet a deadline for a £10m  payment to the Premier League last week,  prompting the auction.

It was unable to pay the Premier League after the collapse of a potential rescue deal with US tycoon Len Blavatnik's Access Industries.

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