Insight into Kirch-CLT digital deal

BERLIN — Revealing figures issued Thursday by the Manager magazines have shed some light on the financial details of the recent Kirch-CLT-Ufa digital TV deal (Daily Variety, July 3).

According to the magazine Gruner & Jahr, Europe’s largest broadcaster CLT-Ufa is to pay DM850 million ($486 million) for its union with the Kirch Group over digital TV. The report comes several weeks after Kirch and Bertelsmann subsid CLT-Ufa decided to join forces to jumpstart the stalling German digital TV market.

Furthermore, the report said the 12.5% share being taken by CLT-Ufa from Kirch’s newly acquired 37.5% share in paybox Premiere from Canal Plus will cost $229 million. Last month, Kirch and CLT-Ufa agreed to buy out the third shareholder, Canal Plus, in paybox Premiere, split the channel 50-50, and use it as a digital relaunch pad.

Following the move, Deutsche Telekom (DT) decided to cooperate. Part of the agreement with DT was to develop a digital decoder through Kirch’s technology development company Beta Research, in which CLT-Ufa and the Deutsche agreed to take a 33% share each.

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