EM.TV joins DSF purchase

Gerard appointed chair of advisory board

BERLIN — German license trader EM.TV on Monday joined retail giant KarstadtQuelle and Swiss entrepreneur Hans-Dieter Cleven in the acquisition of sports channel DSF and Internet platform Sport1 from bankrupt Kirch Media.

KarstadtQuelle sold part of its stake to EM.TV. Deal gives the license trader a 38.97% stake, KarstadtQuelle keeps 38.81%, Cleven holds 22.22%.

EM.TV and KarstadtQuelle want to boost their holding by more than 3.35%, which they have agreed to buy from Cleven if approved by Bavarian state media watchdogs.

The shareholders appointed Peter Gerard as chairman of DSF and Sport1’s advisory boards. Gerard is member of KarstadtQuelle’s management board as well as chairman of the management board of the group’s media division, KarstadtQuelle New Media.

Other members of the advisory boards include Cleven, KarstadtQuelle New Media’s Christian Seifert, EM.TV topper Werner E. Klatten and EM.TV financing chief Andreas Pres.

Strong support

“We will actively support DSF and Sport1 as an integrated communications platform by bringing to bear our proven marketing know-how,” Klatten said. “These far-reaching acquisitions within the sports sector have enabled us to reach our strategic target of expanding EM.TV’s core business into the new segment of sports marketing.”

DSF last week picked up partial rights to German national league soccer for $11.5 million after pubcaster ZDF dropped out of the running. Fellow pubcaster ARD paid Swiss sports rights firm Infront roughly $50 million for most of the terrestrial TV rights.

Kirch Media, which until this year controlled Bundesliga rights, charged its own web, Sat.1, about $91 million for last season. Massive spending on sports and film rights led to Kirch Media’s bankruptcy last year.

(Christian Kohl in Cologne contributed to this report.)

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