It was a brave Celtic tiger cub that tried to take on the big cats of football broadcasting, and for several years, Setanta did so quite successfully.
But a combination of recession and the loss of key games in the English premiership to its main rival, Sky, have left the Irish company on the edge of a financial precipice.
The most acute problem it faces is in a £35m fee due for English football within two weeks.
But it is in discussion with commercial partners across its pay-TV broadcasting portfolio about re-negotiation, from the golfing PGA Tour to cricket's Indian Premier League, with a total annual rights bill from next year of £120m.
That includes the Scottish Premier League.
Setanta broke through to the international big-time through Scottish football, having previously made a modest living from 1990 by beaming Irish sport to Irish ex-pats in Britain.
The SPL's club members have a special general meeting this Thursday morning at Hampden, with the Setanta contract understood to be top of the agenda.
The clubs face the prospect of a nasty knock-on financial crunch if its Setanta contract from next year has to be pared down.
The contract is important to balancing some precariously balanced club books over the next few years.
It was for £125m over the four years starting from next year - more than doubling the amount they paid for the current four year period.
It's reported Setanta, under a new management team led by Sir Robin Miller, previously of EMAP, wants to cut the length of that agreement, and also reported that it would settle for a 20% cut across the four years.
It's also reported the original deal was not supported by Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen, who would have preferred the SPL to go with Sky, but they were out-voted by smaller clubs.
Because it affects the season starting next year, it should not be money that's already committed by the football clubs.
But a cutback would certainly constrain their plans, when recession was already putting a chill through the boardrooms.
And while the bigger clubs may not face the worst pain of a cut in TV income, it would have the biggest impact on clubs such as Motherwell, where Mark McGhee has warned Setanta's financial problems could have "catastrophic" effects on Scottish football, making it hard for him to hold on to key players.
There are knock-on implications also for the Scotland team's away matches in World Cup qualifiers, which were separately negotiated with foreign football associations.
First Minister Alex Salmond has criticised the lack of free TV access to Scotland's qualifiers.
Would Rupert Murdoch's Sky like Setanta to fail? Possibly not, as there is a much bigger player which could be interested in picking it up cheaply and making inroads into the British pay-TV sports market.
And ESPN is a much more serious rival to the Murdoch's sports broadcasting empire than the Irish company has been.