Shares in Premiere slumped as it emerged its former owner Leo Kirch had won the rights to market Bundesliga football for the next six years. Kirch, now aged 81, saw his media empire implode in 2002 in Germany's then largest bankruptcy. Kirch is still suing Deutsche Bank for E1.6 billion over the collapse of his business.
Premiere said it was still keen on bidding for the rights to the most popular sport in Germany. The DFL, the German football association, is expecting to earn E3.45bn from the next six seasons â€“ an increase of about a third on what it receives at the moment. Kirch, who through his company, Sirius, will only market but not transmit the matches, has promised minimum revenue of E3 billion over the timeframe from selling the rights in Germany.
Shares in Premiere fell 12 per cent. They companyhas lost halfo its value since it lost the Bundesliga rights at the end of 2005, it later got soccer back on air through complex deals with the cable companies and ISP that had bought the rights.