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ARD, ZDF score soccer deal

Pact includes exclusive rights to broadcasts

Pubcasters ARD and ZDF have scored another sports coup with the acquisition of Teutonic rights across all platforms to the 64 matches of the 2014 World Cup soccer championship.

The agreement with international football org FIFA, announced Friday, includes exclusive rights to the live and tape-delayed broadcasts of the games, to be held in South America — likely Brazil or Colombia.

ARD and ZDF plan to broadcast at least 44 matches live and provide summaries of all games. The pubcasters will sell on pay TV rights as neither have pay TV outlets.

The deal gives the duo all rights regardless of the technical development of TV in the next seven years, meaning that ARD and ZDF will be able to broadcast on any TV “end-device.”

No official word on price but the pubcasters paid around $239 million, or $5 million per game, for the 2006 World Cup in Germany and have reportedly shelled out $465 million for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, for which they have rights to 46 live games. Paybox Premiere will carry all matches live for its subscribers.

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