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Kirch nabs IPTV, mobile soccer rights

Deutsche Telekom signs Bundesliga deal

BERLIN — Leo Kirch’s Constantin Medien Group has acquired IPTV and mobile rights to top league Bundesliga soccer for the next four seasons as part of a sub-licensing deal with telco giant Deutsche Telekom.

The entertainment and sports conglom, previously known as EM.Sport, is launching its own channel to broadcast all 612 soccer matches of the Bundesliga’s first and second leagues and will distribute its own live program as part of a feed-in agreement via Entertain, Deutsche Telekom’s IPTV service, as well as other mobile platforms.

Constantin will set up a subsidiary to oversee the operation.

Until now, pay TV operator Premiere, which controls Bundesliga pay TV rights, had provided IPTV soccer coverage for Deutsche Telekom. Christian P. Illek, a board member at Deutsche Telekom’s T-Home division, said the telco had chosen Constantin from seven contenders.

Constantin’s sports operations include free TV outlet DSF, online portal Sport1 and live event production unit Plazamedia, which also provides production services to Premiere.

On Friday, Constantin will seek to boost its equity capital from Euros 77.9 million ($101.6 million) to $111.1 million with the issuance of nearly 7.2 million new ordinary shares at $2.60 each, which will bring in $18.7 million.

Constantin shares on Thursday jumped nearly 6.6% to $3.18 following news of the Deutsche Telekom deal.

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