BERLIN — EM.Sport Media is expanding its production activities with a 15% stake in Cologne-based Wige Media.
The publicly-traded Wige specializes in the production of live sport and entertainment events as well as technical services. For EM.Sport, the acquisition well complements its own sports production business, Plazamedia, and fortifies its position as Germany’s biggest sport events production company.
“The European production market is in a state of consolidation and EM.Sport Media is actively taking part in this process,” said EM.Sport exec Rainer Huether. “The goal is to expand our biggest area of production, namely, outdoor production.”
Huether added that Wige’s market leadership in motor sport and its capacity in the area of soccer ideally complemented Plazamedia’s own focus on soccer.
Company said the price for the 15% stake was in the low single-digit millions.
News follows confirmation by the German Football League that Teutonic media mogul and EM.Sport’s single biggest shareholder Leo Kirch has delivered a bank guarantee from Austria’s Raiffeisen-Zentralbank of more than Euros 500 million ($743 million) as part of his deal to market Bundesliga broadcast rights from 2009 to 2015.
Kirch has promised the league a total of $4.4 billion over the six-year period, with the guarantee covering the first season.
The agreement between Kirch’s company Sirius SportMedia and the league includes production and licensing of ready-to-air Bundesliga coverage, which EM.Sport is expected to produce.
The plan has angered German paybox Premiere, which has filed a complaint with the country’s antitrust watchdog. The feevee platform is dependant on national league soccer and has long provided its own independent soccer coverage.