BERLIN — Teutonic media mogul Leo Kirch has confirmed reports that his company Sirius SportMedia has obtained a Euros 3 billion ($4.4 billion) bank guarantee to secure broadcast rights to top league Bundesliga soccer from the German Football League.
A spokesman for Kirch declined to name the bank. Recent media reports have named Austria’s Raiffeisen Zentralbank as the likely financial institute, however.
Last year, the league agreed to award control of the rights to Sirius in return for a guaranteed $738 million per season over six years beginning in 2009.
The deal was contingent on a bank guarantee to be presented by the end of the month.
Kirch’s agreement with the league includes production and licensing of ready-to-air Bundesliga coverage, a plan that has angered German paybox Premiere, which is dependant on national league soccer to attract and maintain subscribers.
Premiere is hoping to sabotage the plan and has recently filed a complaint with the country’s antitrust watchdog.