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GERMAN LEADERS SAY WORLD CUP EVENTS MUST BE ON FREE TV
Published March 19, 1998
Leo Kirch, who holds the German rights to broadcast the 2002 and 2006 World Cups and "has stakes in" German pay TV nets DF1 and Premiere, "will be required" to broadcast the World Cup matches on free TV, according to Miriam Hils of DAILY VARIETY. The leaders of Germany's 16 states have approved a list of "protected" sporting events which must be shown "live on free TV," which include the international soccer championships. Kirch paid $1.87M for rights to the World Cup (Miriam Hils, DAILY VARIETY, 3/19). SPORTEL IN MIAMI: In only its second year, TV market Sportel America "can already lay claim to being an essential port of call on the itinerary of global sports rights traders," according to Andrew Paxman of DAILY VARIETY. The three-day Miami event, a "baby sister" to Sportel Monaco, saw attendance rise 40% over last year's debut, drawing 700 participants and 57 exhibitors. Last year, Sportel America had 34 exhibitors. Co-organizer William Vitale said "[w]ithin two or three years" the event would be "as big as the one in Monaco." Paxman writes that with this summer's World Cup approaching, "business was brisk for programmers hawking formats to complement" World Cup games, with Prisma striking "big" with its "Champions of the World" docu-series on soccer-playing nations. Soccer also gave the event its "one major announcement: the Torneo Copa Merconorte." That event, which features top clubs from the Americas, including two U.S. squads, and consists of 54 games between September and December of this year, is a coproduction between the South American Soccer Confederation and Teledeportes, a branch of Argentina's media group Clarin (VARIETY, 3/19).