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Page last updated at 15:39 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 16:39 UK

SPL TV contract deal not imminent

Setanta has been broadcasting live SPL games since 2004
Setanta is trying to renegotiate all its contracts soon to come into effect

BBC Scotland has learned that no new television deal is imminent between the Scottish Premier League and satellite broadcaster Setanta Sports.

The SPL member clubs met on Thursday to discuss a new proposal put forward by the Irish broadcaster to reduce the current contract's cost and duration.

Setanta wants to downsize the four-year deal set to commence next year.

Setanta reportedly wants to reduce the £125m deal by £25m, which would require approval from eight of the 12 clubs.

Earlier on Thursday, the Scottish Premier League said its member clubs had reached a unanimous decision over Setanta's request to renegotiate the TV deal.

Upon leaving the meeting at the national stadium none of the SPL representatives would divulge any details of the discussions.

The SPL would only say in a statement: "It was a positive meeting at which all 12 clubs agreed the way forward."

Irish pay-TV company Setanta wants to renegotiate a number of their contracts to screen sporting events due to cash-flow problems.

The current deal to broadcast Scottish Premier League games ends next season, but just last year the company agreed to pay a vastly improved £125m over four seasons for exclusive live coverage from 2010.

However, the broadcaster, which won the rights to broadcast the SPL from the BBC in 2004, is now seeking to pay less to Scotland's top flight.

On Wednesday, Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson hoped clubs would take a pragmatic approach, saying: "I hope commonsense prevails for the good of the SPL. We are where we are.

"There is no point in looking to where we were last summer. We've got to move forward. It's a tough world out there."

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee and Falkirk chief executive George Craig have voiced their concerns at Setanta's intentions.

However, Price Waterhouse Coopers football finance expert David Glenn has urged clubs to put any reduction into context, pointing out that the Setanta deal due to come into effect from 2010 offered clubs just over £30m a year, double the amount of the current deal.

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see also
Setanta in talks on sport rights
04 May 09 |  Business
SPL clubs face reduced TV money
17 Apr 09 |  Scottish Premier
SFL chief is bullish about future
17 Apr 09 |  Scottish League

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