The Irish pay-TV broadcaster Setanta is trying to renegotiate its contracts to screen sporting events, as it tries to deal with cash-flow problems. It is due to pay the Football Association £35m on 15 May for the rights to broadcast its games.

There has been concern among investors after it only managed to secure new rights for half of the live Premier League games it currently broadcasts.

But the company has said there is no question of it defaulting on payments.

"We've been in productive talks with our rights partners including the FA and they have all been terrific, without exception," Setanta's director of sport Trevor East told the Independent newspaper.

Setanta currently shows 46 live Premier League games per season, but from 2010 it will have only 23 matches, which is expected to cut its subscriber base.

The broadcaster has a joint contract with ITV to show the FA Cup and England football internationals.

In addition, Setanta has exclusive rights to show matches from the Blue Square Premier, the top flight of English non-League football - which is a major source of income for these clubs.

But analysts have suggested that Setanta will be hit hard by the recession because cash-strapped sports fans may give up their subscriptions.

However the fees the broadcaster must pay for the rights to show sporting events will be unaffected.

"In the recession you keep your Sky because that's the number one, but if you're the number two, which is nice to have in addition... then that means you're not going to get the same number of subscribers," said Toby Syfret, media analyst at Enders Analysis.

(From the BBC News Website)