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Murdoch sælger sine rettigheder

Fredag d. 7. januar 2000

International media magnate Rupert
Murdoch has agreed to sell the German television rights to
European Champions' League soccer for the next three seasons,
the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said on Thursday.
TM3, controlled by Murdoch's News Corp Ltd, sold on the
rights to commercial network RTL and pay-TV channel Premiere
World for a combined 200 million marks ($104 million) a season,
the paper said in a press release ahead of its Friday edition,
quoting a TM3 official and a businessman close to RTL.
None of the parties were immediately available for comment.
TM3, a small, women's interest channel based in Munich,
stunned previous rights-holder RTL -- and the soccer-watching
public -- by snapping up the rights to the present 1999-2000 and
three subsequent seasons for around 200 million marks a season.
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung, also based in Munich, quoted News
Corp's junior partner in TM3, media entrepreneur Herbert
Kloiber, as saying he would try to block the sale of rights to
the three remaining seasons, 2000-2001, 2001-2002 and 2002-2003.
"Without my cooperation this will not happen," he said.
He added that his Tele-Muenchen group had a choice of buying
Murdoch out of his two-thirds stake in TM3 or selling its
one-third stake to News Corp.
The paper also quoted a senior manager from the Westdeutsche
Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) newspaper, which is associated with top
commercial channel RTL's parent company CLT-Ufa, as saying the
deal on Champions' League rights was part of a large package.
"This has been arranged with Murdoch," the WAZ's Erich
Schumann said.
A further element of the package was CLT-Ufa's purchase,
announced last month, of News Corp's 49.9 percent stake in the
German commercial entertainment channel Vox, the paper added.
Added to an existing stake, that gave CLT-Ufa control of Vox.
Luxembourg-based CLT-Ufa is a 50-50 joint venture between
German media group Bertelsmann and Luxembourg holding company
Audiofina.
RTL would pay "something more than 100 million marks" per
season for the right to broadcast Champions' League games on
Wednesdays.
Premiere World, controlled by Munich-based media
entrepreneur Leo Kirch and in which Murdoch has an interest,
would pay around 100 million marks for the rights to games
played on Tuesdays, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung said.
TM3 has had ambitions to become a third force in the German
commercial television market alongside Bertelsmann-linked
channels RTL, RTL2, Super RTL and Vox and Kirch-backed channels
Sat-1, ProSieben and Kabel 1. State-run channels also account
for a large share of viewing figures.