Kirch raises cash with soccer rights sales

THE Kirch Group has raised more than a billion dollars in the last few days by the sale of the TV rights to the 2002 and 2006 World Cup soccer competition. The first deal, for $860m, was with Latin American TV companies and their remaining $210m comes from the British Broadcasting Company. Kirch acquired the European rights from FIFA, the world's soccer federation, in 1996 for around $800m and added the US rights for $100m.

At the moment the rights have only been resold in only 18 countries and so Kirch is looking at a hefty profit on the deals. The company intends to do the same with the Formula 1 World Championship in the future having acquired the rights to the sport for 100 years. However the German company still needs to do a deal with the F1 teams before that arrangement will bear fruit.

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