Kirch shows that the end is nigh

LEO KIRCH seems to have given up any hope of saving Kirch Media, the company that holds the commercial rights to Formula 1 motor racing, but is reported to have pulled off a last-minute deal to keep hold of the TV rights to the 2002 and 2006 World Cup soccer tournaments by switching the ownership from Kirch Media to Kirch Sport, a Swiss subsidiary of the main company. The deal, reported in DER SPIEGEL magazine, says that the deal was agreed with the international soccer federation FIFA just before Easter.

The move, if confirmed, is likely to cause uproar in Germany with Kirch likely to face accusations of asset-stripping.

It remains to be seen if Kirch has pulled off any similar moves with his F1 rights.

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