Kirch sells World Cup soccer to Korea

Free-to-air deal worth $60 million

COLOGNE — Kirch Media has sold the TV rights to the 2002 and 2006 World Cup soccer tournaments to South Korean broadcasters KBS, MBC and SBS for $60 million. All three webs are free-to-air.

A Kirch Media spokesperson told Daily Variety that the company has also agreed terms for the Japanese market, and that a contract will be signed soon.

The deal with South Korea, which together with Japan is hosting the 2002 World Cup, includes a reduction in the price for the 2006 World Cup, to be held in Germany, if South Korea’s team fails to qualify.

Last week, Kirch Media finalized a $860 million deal for the South American rights, which were sold to TV Globo and TV Direct.

Although it has now sold its World Cup rights in most of the major international markets, in Europe Kirch Media is still fiercely negotiating in the U.K., Italy, and France.

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