64 ITN jobs at risk as Setanta Sports News shuts down

ITN has entered into redundancy consultation with 64 journalists following the closure yesterday of the Setanta Sports News channel.

The 24-hour rolling sports news service ceased broadcasting at 6pm yesterday after parent company Setanta went into administration.

The channel launched in November 2007 as a joint venture between Setanta and Virgin Media and was produced by ITN.

An ITN spokesman told Press Gazette: “We are extremely disappointed by the news that Setanta has gone into administration and will cease trading. As a consequence, Setanta Sports News shut down transmission.

“Over the past 18 months, SSN successfully established itself as a highly-competitive sports news alternative with a loyal and growing audience.

“Thanks to the dedication of a hugely talented team, the channel consistently generated a lively, engaging schedule popular with sports fans across the country.”

He added: “Where possible, we will seek to identify opportunities for redeployment across the company, but it is unlikely that we will be able to find alternative employment for staff in any significant number, given ITN’s current operational needs.”

Setanta went into administration yesterday afternoon after it struggled to keep up with rights payments to football clubs. It is now being overseen by accountancy firm Deloitte.

The group had 420 employees in the UK and Ireland and about 1.2 million subscribers.

Deloitte administrator Neville Khan said in a statement: “After a huge effort by the Setanta board, management team and its backers, it has not been possible to save the GB business, which will be wound down in due course.

“This decision means that it will shortly cease broadcasting to its customers in Great Britain.

“However, the International and Ireland businesses continue to trade on air whilst we are in discussions with parties to take on those businesses as going concerns.”

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