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Premiere Jumps on Soccer Deal Prospects

CNBC.com
Friday, 6 Jul 2007 | 12:37 PM ET

Shares in German pay-TV broadcaster Premiere rose 5% Friday, bolstered by media reports the company would buy rights to broadcast German Bundesliga soccer games.

"If Premiere wins back the Bundesliga, then the share could rebound to old levels," one trader said.

Some German media reported on Thursday that UnityMedia, which owns Premiere rival arena, may directly sell live rights to broadcast Bundesliga soccer games to Premiere.

Both companies declined to comment on the media reports.

Premiere shares had already risen strongly on Thursday after the German cartel office said a proposed marketing deal between the two companies would need some minor changes but otherwise was not a problem.

A spokeswoman for the cartel office said a final decision was expected by mid-July but declined further comment.

Premiere Chief Financial Officer Michael Boernicke last month expressed confidence that the cartel office would approve a deal to allow it to start marketing Germany's premier league soccer again.

But Premiere also said it expects it will take three to four quarters after a possible deal on Bundesliga soccer before it returns to its 2005 level of 300 euros ($402) annual revenue per customer.

Premiere lost the Bundesliga rights in 2005 to arena and struggled to find a way to continue to show top-flight matches of Germany's most popular sport until it struck the deal with arena.

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