Kirch loses €10m in Bundesliga flop -
sirius_sport_media.jpgThe failed attempt by Leo Kirch to market the television rights of the soccer Bundesliga has so far cost the media mogul’s company Sirius SportMedia €10 million, according to a report in German weekly news magazine Die Zeit.
Kirch and his designated successor Dieter Hahn convinced German soccer association Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) to allow Sirius to market the rights and promised it an average income of €500 million per season from summer 2009, but the plans were thwarted by the federal cartel office. According to the report, the multi-million euro losses which Sirius has so far incurred cannot be solely attributed to the approximately 15 employees within the Munich-based company. An army of consultants with evidently high hourly rates have added to the costly venture.
Within the industry it is assumed that DFL will soon commence the marketing of the rights itself and the contract with Kirch will be dissolved. Presumably pay-TV operator Premiere and public broadcaster ARD will pay around the same as they did in the previous tender, amounting to a total of €420 million per season.
The cartel office decided that the planned centralised allocation of the rights through DFL and Kirch was only permissible under the condition that highlights of the Saturday matches were screened before 20:00 CET on free-to-air television. DFL plans to take legal action against the decision.