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RTL nabs free TV World Cup rights

Premiere has pay TV rights

BERLIN — Leading German commercial broadcaster RTL Television has inked a deal with pay TV operator Premiere to carry up to 18 matches of the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament, to be played in South Africa, exclusively on free TV.

Premiere won the rights to broadcast all 64 World Cup games live on pay TV in Germany and Austria.

As part of the agreement, RTL will show nine top games, including six preliminary matches, two last-16 rounds and one quarter final game.

RTL holds an option for an additional nine matches. Deal also includes exclusive broadcast rights for 18 games in Austria.

Deal reps a continuation of RTL’s World Cup coverage, which began with the 2006 tournament in Germany.

“The football euphoria in our country during the Euro 2008 illustrated the enormous importance that football has for viewers,” said RTL topper Anke Schaeferkordt. “Major sport such as Formula One, boxing, the handball World Cup, as well as the FIFA World Cup 2010 will continue to have a permanent home on RTL.”

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