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  1. #1
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    Default Arena and Premiere to share soccer rights

    Arena and Premiere to share soccer rights

    Arena, which holds the TV rights to German premier league soccer, has reached a surprise deal to share broadcasting with former rights holder Premiere, a source close to the situation said on Wednesday.

    "It seems that this is what they (the two companies) want to announce," say source.

    Earlier on Wednesday, two German newspapers also reported that Arena and Premiere had reached a deal to share broadcasting of the games.

    The Financial Times Deutschland newspaper reported that the 800,000 subscribers who see Premiere over the Kabel Deutschland

    (KDG) cable network will be able to subscribe to Arena's football programme via Premiere without a separate decoder.

    The FTD did not cite sources for its report released in advance of publication on Thursday.

    Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper also reported that an agreement between Arena and Premiere had been reached and would be presented on Thursday.

    Sueddeutsche Zeitung cited sources close to the talks for its story released in advance of publication on Thursday.

    No immediate comment was available from Arena, Premiere and KDG.

    The deal would mean premier league soccer matches would be available in 13 federal states over pay-TV broadcaster Premiere, while Arena itself would offer live matches over its associated cable networks and by satellite.

    In December, Arena won the premier league soccer rights from Premiere, sending Premiere shares plummeting.

  2. #2
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    Default update no.1



    Bundesliga live for all fans in Germany: Unity Media, arena and Premiere agree on distribution and marketing partnership in cable.

    The new Bundesliga channel arena will in future also be available in cable throughout Germany. Subscription TV provider Premiere is to market arena in cable and from a technical perspective will reach around 9.6 million cable TV households in the Kabel Deutschland region. At the same time, the cable operators ish, iesy and Tele Columbus, subsidiaries of the arena parent company Unity Media, will also offer their customers Premiere packages directly. arena and Premiere have concluded a distribution and marketing contract to this effect. Via Premiere, ish, iesy, Tele Columbus, Kabel BW and smaller cable operators, arena reaches practically all cable customers in Germany. arena has secured national distribution via satellite with its own system.

    Premiere is to broadcast the offering from broadcaster arena unchanged and is to offer individual subscriptions for € 14.90. In all cable networks, in future in addition to the arena and Premiere individual offers there will also be attractive combined offers. Premiere, ish and iesy will announce further price and product details shortly. The satellite offering from arena will be unaffected by the cooperation agreement.

    “We are delighted with this breakthrough, which makes the offering for all cable customers in Germany more attractive. Only customers of ish and iesy can receive arena, Premiere and also Internet and telephony from a single source,” says Parm Sandhu, CEO of Unity Media.

    “We are keeping to our promise of making the arena channel and the football Bundesliga available to all fans via cable and satellite, and of going on air in August with a unique product,” says Dejan Jocic, Managing Director of arena.

    ”The Premiere-arena offering is good news for hundreds of thousands of football fans and particularly for Premiere’s subscribers,” says Dr. Georg Kofler, CEO of Premiere. ”For many Premiere subscribers, this basically means that nothing will change next season. With arena on Premiere, also in future they can enjoy the Bundesliga live.“

    * Cable customers should contact their cable operator (ish, iesy, Kabel BW or other) or Premiere. Existing decoders can still be used in cable, and an existing Smartcard can be activated within a few minutes. New customers can receive decoders and Smartcards from Premiere, their cable operator or in retail stores.

  3. #3
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    Default update no.2



    Premiere's chief executive and founder, Georg Kofler, said the deal would have a positive effect on the pay-TV broadcaster's earnings, but stuck to an earlier commitment that Premiere would review its forecast for 2006 in November.

    "That will naturally be easier now," Kofler told sources in a telephone interview. Premiere said earlier this year it expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of up to 90 million euros ($114 million).

    Kofler said Premiere would get cash for each new subscriber who received Arena's Bundesliga offer via the pay-TV broadcaster "It is a flexible deal that will allow us to generate a margin from the first subscriber."

    Arena had been trying to strike a distribution deal with KDG but failed, prompting it to reach the agreement with Premiere.

    Soccer is the most popular sport in Germany, which has just hosted the World Cup, and customers had been expected to start deserting Premiere when it lost the Bundesliga rights.

    But Kofler said Premiere so far had not experienced any "disaster" when it came to subscriber losses.

    He said about half of Premiere's 3.5 million subscribers were cable viewers and half satellite viewers, worrying some analysts.

    "Depending on the exact terms of the deal, and this dependency is critical, such an arrangement will help Premiere retain cable subscribers in KDG areas," said Philip Guest, analyst with Exane BNP Paribas.

    KDG welcomed the deal between Arena and Premiere, saying the most important matter for the cable operator was that its customers would be able to see the Bundesliga games.

    Premiere also has a deal to produce Bundesliga coverage for Deutsche Telekom, which holds the Internet rights to the games and plans to show them through its Internet TV outlets.

    Deutsche Telekom and Kofler said the deal with Arena would not have any impact on Premiere's agreement with the telecoms group.



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