Setanta Scores £90 Million, Launches New Channel In Break-Even Quest

Setanta Sports, the once-little Irish pay-TV operator with big ambitions, has attracted 130 million euros (£90 million) to help finance its continued build-up of UK soccer rights. The funds come from existing backers Balderton, Doughty Hanson and Goldman Sachs, said, adding Setanta is “running at a loss of tens of millions of pounds” after buying 46 live Premiership games. That’s because Setanta is not yet making enough from its £9.99 subscription offering to finance further buy-ups and doesn’t expect to break even until 2009, the paper said. Brand Republic says the Setanta Sports channel, a JV with Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED) launching Thursday to compete with Sky Sports News, is forecast to generate £10 million a year.