Setanta, Adebayor, and USA USA USA!

Not so special any more

Setanta Enters Administration

Yesterday, having failed to secure the funding needed to keep the UK business going, the UK version of Setanta sports went into administration — or as we call it in America, bankruptcy. Basically, as I write this lawyers and accountants are picking over Setanta UK’s corpse looking for something salvageable.

Supposedly unaffected is Setanta USA, but that’s not entirely true. According to their US web site, Setanta USA still has the rights to broadcast EPL (and whatever else crapola they are shilling) and will continue to do so as it is a separate business. This message is being repeated across all the sites that are not part of Great Britain — Australia and Canada.

For the time being, North American and Antipodean football fans should take some solace in the fact that the Setanta Sports package in our area is still available. I’m not sure how long that will last as we will have to see what the new Administrators of the mother company find as far as how Setanta kept the businesses separated and if there was any funny business. My feeling is that the whole enterprise is going to collapse, after all this is pretty much the same message they gave to the UK customers right before they collapsed “keep buying our product! everything will be ok!”

Irregardless, ESPN has stepped in last week and bought Setanta’s 46 UK games and just today announced that they are going to be setting up a dedicated Football channel in the UK. This is huge news for British and American football fans because it means that A) ESPN is taking the endeavor seriously and plans on dedicating a healthy amount of resources to doing this right. I mean, a dedicated channel means announcers, sponsors, commentary, a whole host of things! And B) it means that I was right about something for once! Not only did I predict that ESPN would take over the rights, but that they would do it up proper. Moreover, the naysayers who predicted that you’d get less coverage were wrong as well, in addition to the two other ESPN channels in the UK, they will be showing games on a third “football only” channel. For those that can afford the £10 monthly charge (and I am by no means glossing over that in these economic times) it means all the football you can handle. For the rest of you it means a day at the local boozer, which ain’t so bad is it?

Even if Setanta International survives the next few months and is able to broadcast games into North America next year (I don’t think they will) the games will be different. They will be ESPN re-broadcasts, folks. This means that Mr. Monchichi hair and his crew of fat tied half-time pundits will probably be replaced with just the Setanta bouncing ball/falling boot commercial running constantly — which will be a relief.  I don’t see them maintaining the business as it is and certainly don’t see them able to afford all those pundits salaries just to broadcast in ‘Merica. Hmmm… maybe, just maybe they will go the way that Fox Soccer Channel has gone and they will have some Americans and cut-rate ex-pats spouting nonsense. I wonder if I could get a job? First, I’ll have to expunge the blog of all instances where I called them “Shitanta.”

If Setanta International do collapse, ESPN now looks poised to take over those rights as well and beam games into American and Antipodean homes.  Like I said before these rights aren’t cheap and Setanta helped build the audience over here and now we’re hungry for more. We want HD broadcasts, our own dedicated channels, and football coverage that isn’t interrupted by College Handball on Saturday. Given the way they are handling the UK rights, I would be shocked if ESPN didn’t do this right over here as well.

Either way, it will be an interesting next few months as we see how this all plays out.

USA v. Spain

USA! USA USA! So, by some miracle of goal differential, the USA Men’s team advanced in the tiresome injury fest called the Confederations Cup. Man, I hope that the USA team breaks the ankles of all those Spanish players today (11:30am PST)!

Seriously, I actually will be rooting for the USA team to win, because that means Cesc can go home to England and get some rest before we start Arsenal’s next season. I know, blah blah Spain record, blah blah international accolades, blah blah blah. Arsenal need the captain well rested and ready to go for the start of the Summer training session. Last year, Cesc’s disastrous double vacation nearly saw Arsenal slip out of fourth place. So, more than ever we need the captain rested and ready to go at the start of training camp.


I’m surprised anyone wants to buy Ade, much less a “very important team.” How much you wanna bet Ade is a Gooner still next year and this is all just posturing by his agent?

If, as the rumors have it, he’s going to Chelsea I can only say one thing: we’ll throw in a barely used Silvestre to sweeten the deal!

Phil Brown to feel the power of the FA

I will be crying tears of joy when Phil Brown is found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute today.  Not only did he claim that the referees were in Arsenal’s pocket, but he lied about Wenger never shaking his hand, and lied again about Fabregas spitting all over everyone. He’s a liar and a cheat and dangit, if the FA doesn’t do something about him criticizing the referees then the whole “Respect Campaign” will have been a farce.*

I will settle for nothing less than Phil Brown being forced into a cage with a rabid Drogba.

Finally, the new web site is coming along

I have started making changes to the official 7amkickoff.com site and things are progressing up there very nicely. If you want to make snarky comments about how it looks feel free, I’m a grown up (today) and I can take it. If however, you know some CSS and want to make actual HELPFUL suggestions, well, that would be great.

See you tomorrow!


20 Responses to “Setanta, Adebayor, and USA USA USA!”

  1. 1 chris
    June 24, 2009 at 8:15 am

    If spain lose then they still platfor 3rd place on day of final. eithir way its 2 more games for cesc

  2. 3 Yan
    June 24, 2009 at 8:39 am

    I want to add that I think Spain are serious contenders for next year’s world cup. Mark my words, I said a full year in advance.

  3. 4 Yan
    June 24, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Come on dude! Our captain is already an Euro champ(as a sub), now it can be Conf Cup(1st team). I think actually winning trophies can only be good for him AND our beloved arsenal. Just think how the youngsters will be inspired by him, and how we all whined about not having experienced winners on the team. This can only be good. Aguante LA FURIA:-).

  4. 5 WC
    June 24, 2009 at 10:03 am

    I’m firmly in support of Wenger getting out the plague that is Adebayor out of the dressing room. It doesn’t matter how good he is, no player is bigger than the club and he’s becoming poison to the team. Even the mighty SAF knows a bad seed when he sees it and had no qualms in off-loading CRonaldo.

    I hate the Confed Cup because Cesc gets little rest, but then again I keep watching it because it’s the only football showing – aside from the U-21s. However I think it could renew Cesc’s game and even elevate him for next season.

  5. 6 B-Dot
    June 24, 2009 at 10:04 am

    @ Yan,

    I understand the whole “Winning small trophies leads to winning big trophies” argument, but this competition is useless other than for FIFA to milk some more money out of international competitions at the expense of players who haven’t had a rest all year (seeing as they schedule Friendlies in the time they would otherwise have off from the club). I fail to see how winning this farce benefits Arsenal; at worst it puts our captain and heart at risk of injury, and at best, he’s not had a rest all summer and comes into the squad tired and late, just as he did last year (and we all saw how lackluster Cesc’s performances were early in the campaign). Get him off the pitch, on the beach, rested, fit , and ready for the season.

  6. 7 Matt
    June 24, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Tim, you have a lot of faith in tWWL, too much faith if you ask me.

    They tend to fuck up every sport they cover, it’s to the point where the majority of their programming is un-fucking-watchable, even to the biggest American sports fans. (I know plenty of NFL knucklehead fans that refuse to watch Sportscenter).

    Their baseball coverage is a joke: all Yankees, all the time. They glom onto big market teams and once entrenched, make no movement. You think you are going to see Arsenal on ESPN? HA! It is going to be all Chelsea and Man United, ALL THE TIME.

    Take one quick look at their current “soccer” coverage: MLS, CL, USMNT, and other major international tournaments: it is absolute HOGWASH. World feeds commentated on by worthless turds sitting in a closet in Connecticut, with half time shows that make even the most ignorant fans cringe. And how many group stage CL Arsenal matches did you watch on ESPN this year? Nary a one.

    One example would be the latest MLS game (I go into this anecdote freely admitting that the EPL is a cash cow while MLS is, well, not, but bear with me), the game being Seattle-DC, easily two of the most talented and popular MLS teams. It was a big, marquee match-up for ESPN and MLS. Unfortunately, a college world series game went long and ESPN did not get to the match until the 60th minute. They did not move it to any of their other networks, despite the fact that there no other live events going on.

    Now, you make the point that very few live events are going between 4am and noon, and that is true, on the west coast. Evening matches in the UK start at 2:30 on the east coast. That is prime NBA, college football, and college basketball time. Now THOSE are cash cows, they make the EPL (in America) look like windsurfing competitions. You think for one second they are going to cut to an EPL match if USC-Notre Dame goes long?

    ESPN now has a financial commitment to “soccer”, more so than ever before, but that does not mean it gains immediates credence with the network. I have been a sports fan in America for twenty some years, I love sports, but I cannot stomach ESPN. It is garbage. You have visions of HD matches dancing in your head, Tim, and it is clouding your vision.

  7. 8 nycgunner
    June 24, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Phil Orange found guilty and fined. Today is a good day.

  8. 9 TheSKAGooner
    June 24, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Good points, Matt. I’m partially thrilled at ESPN’s involvement, but ONLY if it means a dedicated FOOTBALL channel here in the US. There is absolutely no way they will show FOOTBALL on Saturdays during the fall in place of even a Boston College-Pitt matchup in college football. It just won’t happen. The early east coast college games start at noon, and the late EPL matches kick off at 2:30pm. Massive conflict of timing there, and one ESPN will not cede to the Premiership on the regular channels So, if ESPN is going to be the rights holder here in the US, it must, absolutely MUST dedicate at least 1 channel to FOOTBALL – even if done on subscription basis. More FOOTBALL in the US is what we need. Not rebroadcast games at odd hours on odd channels just to satisfy a rights agreement. Take the plunge, ESPN. You have exclusive rights to the World Cup and have always done a great job showing every match (even with the Womens World Cup you show every match live), now it’s time to bring in the best FOOTBALL league in the world and give it the premium dedication it deserves.

    • June 24, 2009 at 12:27 pm

      As currently scheduled, every Saturday Arsenal match kicks off at 3pm GMT. That means 10am kickoff at the latest in the states. Which means that there will be no conflict for Arsenal matches. In addition, the 2:30pm EST kickoffs you talk about are night matches and those only ever happen on Boxing day and weekdays, again, no conflict except for maybe March Madness or some golf tourney.

      Finally, ESPN currently has three channels in the US, plus an online channel. I realize that some of you may not be able to afford ESPN Deportes, but then I would wonder how you afforded Setanta because my local satellite provider wanted me to pay for the full package just to get Fox Soccer Channel ($100/mo.) and then $15 a month for Setanta, which only showed certain games for the monthly fee! If I wanted to watch Carling Cup matches, for instance, I would have had to pay-per-view them! It’s was/is lame.

      So, I am not at all worried about ESPN’s broadcasts next year. I think they will prominently feature the top four teams, which Arsenal is one. If this were a Geordie blog, I’d A) be killing myself for supporting such shite and B) be very sad that I can’t watch football ever again.

      • 11 TheSKAGooner
        June 24, 2009 at 1:53 pm

        Well, all that being true, I do like to watch matches other than Arsenal. Not because I have any less love for The Arsenal than anyone else, but simply because I love football. If ESPN don’t dedicate a channel for football, I do not see them televising matches live when they conflict with college football.

        Regarding a dedicated channel or ESPNDeportes, I have DirectTV with the sports package, so I already pay a hefty fee for television. If Arsenal were on Setanta this past season, I just watched the live feed from IraqGoals or ATDHE.net. I didn’t get a subscription to Setanta. I would gladly pay extra for a dedicated football channel from ESPN, or perhaps they’ll just add it to their sports package. However, in order to get ESPNDeportes on DirectTV, one must order the entire Spanish language package and I’ve no need of that. I don’t know whether a dedicated football channel would be more or less expensive than the Spanish language package though. We’ll have to see how that plays out.

        Given that Setanta US still has the rights to broadcast in the US, I don’t see ESPN adding EPL for the upcoming season here. So we have at least 1 season before we really have to worry about all this. Unless Setanta US goes the way of Setanta UK in the middle of the season or something.

      • 12 TheSKAGooner
        June 24, 2009 at 1:57 pm

        Just to be clear, Tim – I’m not trying to argue with you. :o) Basically, I just want a dedicated football channel from ESPN that’s not ESPNDeportes. hahaha

  9. 13 Yan
    June 24, 2009 at 10:44 am

    I hear you pal. But it is the same argument for all intermationals. Of course I’d love cesc having a break, I’d massage him myself! But all national teams are playing full squads. I dont regard it as a minor trophy football-wise. And remember, Cesc had a burnt out last season. He even wouldnt hear about footy. Then after injury came back humgry for more, well rested. Same goes for Theo. It would be great to know what players really think about these games.

  10. 14 Matt
    June 24, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Cesc taken off in the 68th, no visible injury.

  11. 15 Matt
    June 24, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Congrats to the US.

  12. 16 TheSKAGooner
    June 24, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Interesting match between Spain and the US. Spain certainly had their fare share of chances, but just couldn’t put one home. Cesc had some beautiful passes into the box, and showed some great skill with his little lob passes as well. I don’t know if Spain took us – the US – too lightly or what, but credit to the US team for being tenacious and just sticking with it the whole match. Good win for them and will definitely help with confidence going into the World Cup.

  13. 17 caribkid
    June 24, 2009 at 2:02 pm


    USA 2 – 0 Spain

    Another red card for the US, this time it’s Bradley. I think we will see young Mr. Bradley in the EPL in the not too distant future.

    This has to rank as the second best US victory, with the 1950 1-0 over WC favorites England, still ranking as the 1st.

  14. 18 Yan
    June 24, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    the 1st 18 minutes of 2nd half were so so so arsenal vs (park the bus team here). US defended with 7 men, kinda chelski vs barcelona. Which reminds us that even though our playing can be beautiful, it doesnt assure you a good result. Xavi(not alonso) is DA MAN. Sergio Ramos (one of my fav RB of all time) made a childish mistake for US 2nd goal. Kudos to US. Defense wins championships:-)

  15. 19 Travis the septopus
    June 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    What the What? Spain what happened? Is South Africa Next? Im confused. I need to go raise my wrist if you know what i mean.

  16. June 24, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    I’ll miss the sock puppets.

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