IRISH media firm Setanta has signed a £32m (?47m) deal to buy the rights to Scottish Premier League (SPL) football for the next four years.

The deal, which still needs to be approved by the 12 clubs in the SPL, will see Setanta screen 38 games on a payper-view basis.

Setanta plans to charge £7.99 per game and will also show a weekly highlights package.

Setanta was named as the preferred bidder for the contract last week and the deal now needs backing from twothirds of the Scottish Premier League.

The league's 12 clubs have a combined debt of £190m and the Setanta offer is unlikely to be rejected by chairmen when they meet later this month according to some sources.

Motherwell, Dundee, Livingston FC are all in administration while Dunfermline has asked its players to take a pay cut.

As part of the deal with the SPL, Setanta has hired Wark Clements, the Glasgow media group part-owned by BBC TV presenter Kirsty Wark, to handle the production of the live games and weekly analysis programmes.

Wark Clements is providing some of the funding for the deal but Setanta is the dominant player in the arrangement. Scottish football is likely to be a key element of Setanta's proposed new UK sports channel.

The Irish company has a slot on the Freeview satellite services which broadcasts digital television to Britain and Ireland and also recently won the rights to WWE wrestling, which it also intends to show on its new channel.