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World Cup TV rights secured

British TV viewers are at last guaranteed full coverage of the 2002 World Cup after broadcasters finally struck a deal with Kirch, the German media company.

The BBC and ITV have agreed a joint deal that gives them the rights to both next year's Finals and the 2006 competition in Germany. The fee, although undisclosed, is thought to be well under Kirch's asking price.

The German's originally demanded 170 million for the 2002 tournament alone. The recent deal is though to have cost between 120-150 million for the next two World Cups.

One of the stumbling blocks of the negotiations was the difference in perceived value for the broadcasters. During the 2002 Finals, most games will take place at unsocial hours for the majority of British fans. This vastly lowers the advertising revenue that ITV can make from the games.

However, by adding the German event in 2006 to the package, the balance is restored. The location, and minimal time difference, could result in potentially huge audiences.

Kirch have also announced the sale of the rights for the 2002 and 2006 Finals to the South American market for a total fee of 590 million.

19th October 2001


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