BERLIN — The ministers of the 16 German states said on Thursday they are preparing a list of sporting events that must be broadcast live on German free TV.
The list, which will be legally binding, reportedly includes the Olympics, as well as the finals and semifinals of the World and European Cup soccer tournaments. Also on the list are all matches involving the German national team.
The politicians are trying to force the Munich-based Kirch Group to make popular World Cup games available to free TV viewers. Together with Swiss partner ISL, Kirch has acquired the rights to World Cup championships in 2002 and 2006. Kirch execs have said that important World Cup matches will be broadcast on free TV — but they may be shown on pay TV first. Kirch officials have threatened to challenge in court any law restricting their use of the rights.