Kirch must b’cast soccer on free TV

$1.87 mil poured into World Cup 2002, 2006

BERLIN — Bavarian media mogul Leo Kirch will be required to broadcast major World Cup soccer matches on German free TV, German state premiers ruled on Wednesday.

At a meeting in Berlin, the leaders of Germany’s 16 states approved a list of “protected” sporting events that must be shown live on free TV, including soccer championships. Kirch spent $1.87 million on the rights to the World Cup soccer tournaments for 2002 and 2006. German politicians are using legal means to prevent Kirch, who has stakes in German pay TV webs DF1 and Premiere, from reserving live broadcasts of thegames for paying viewers.

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