DECEMBER 21, 2001
Kirch vows to hold on to its empire
THE Kirch Gruppe says it will ride the crisis if News Corporation boss Rupert Murdoch forces it to buy him out of the Pay-TV business Premiere next autumn. Murdoch has a $1.5bn put option which Kirch will have to meet if Murdoch insists but the German company says it will find a way to get the money, even if it means selling off other parts of the business.
The aim is to keep the business together and build up Pay-TV to such an extent that the company will eventually start to make the money which has long been hoped. With the FIA unlikely to let Formula 1 become a pay-per-view business it will be interesting to see whether or not Kirch decides to hold on to the business whether it might offer the rights it holds for sale. The problem with this is that with the car manufacturers promising their own series in 2008 the value of SLEC is dropping as the new series becomes more of a real possibility.
It is however early yet to start seeing GPWC as a real threat as we have yet to see any response from the current players.
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