SBD/19/Sports Media

GERMAN LEADERS SAY WORLD CUP EVENTS MUST BE ON FREE TV

          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).

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