Troubled broadcaster Setanta calls in Frank PR despite shelving consumer pitch

Troubled broadcaster Setanta Sports has shelved plans to hire a retained consumer agency but has called in Frank PR to handle media for two upcoming football matches.

Frank: brings back Saint & Greavsie for Setanta
Frank: brings back Saint & Greavsie for Setanta

Setanta wants Frank to raise consumer awareness of its joint broadcast, with ITV, of the FA Cup Final, and its screening of the England vs Kazakhstan football match on 6 June.

The broadcaster briefed Frank just three months after it shelved a consumer account pitch aimed at strengthening its reputation in the UK.

PRWeek understands that in February Setanta spoke to Pitch PR, Mischief and Mantra for a brand-building retained brief. But MD Timothy Ryan said this appointment was now on hold. ‘We are under­going a strategic review and going through fundraising. We are not making any fixed appointments,’ he said.

Setanta continues to use Powerscourt for corporate work, PMPR in Scotland and Braben for press office work.
The Irish broadcaster found itself in financial trouble after losing a bidding war with BSkyB over the rights to show live Premiership football games. It managed to win only one 23-game package out of six, which may make it harder for it to attract new subscribers and retain current users.

The firm installed new managers this month, who have entered into emergency fundraising talks with shareholders, including private equity firms Doughty Hanson and Balderton Capital. It needs to raise £100m.

Setanta maintains that it provides healthy competition to rival Sky, and says this has benefited sport by driving up the price of sports rights.

As the first part of the campaign, Frank has helped bring 80s football institution ‘Saint and Greavsie’ back to TV. Ian St John and Jimmy Greaves will reform their partnership for a special one-off programme as part of Setanta’s unencrypted FA Cup Final coverage this weekend.

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