Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

April 9, 2002

Media giant falls back to earth

Filed under: World Cup 2006 — Ivan @ 1:32 pm

The News Review:

* Kirch sidestep saves World Cup
* Voller in search of more glory
* Kirch edges closer to insolvency
* Media giant falls back to earth
* Anger over German soccer plan
* Kirch declares itself insolvent
* Gabon pull out of 2006 bid
* Blatter’s innocent tour
* Blatter under fresh attack

Kirch sidestep saves World Cup
BBC News – Apr 8, 2002

Bidding process

Under Kirch’s contract, the World Cup rights revert to Fifa in the case of insolvency. But it would have been difficult to re-auction the rights to rival broadcasters with less than two months to go until kick-off. The rights for the 2006 World Cup may still be renegotiated amongst Kirch’s competitors. While the viewing of the World Cup seems safe, German football clubs are facing a period of uncertainty. Bundesliga fears

Kirch owns the television rights to Bundesliga matches until 2004. And TV rights payments from Kirch make up more than half the income for some German football clubs. But the German government is taking a softer line than the UK government took after the collapse of ITV Digital.

Voller in search of more glory
BBC News – Apr 4, 2002
It was clearly a gamble as his coaching credentials were practically nil, but he was then handed the job permanently when Christoph Daum, who had been due to take over, was discarded after testing positive for cocaine. Voller produced such an impressive display in his initial qualifying group games that his contract was extended until after the 2006 World Cup finals. But he was soon to discover that football can be a fickle game when his side, within one point of automatic qualification, succumbed to a humiliating 5-1 defeat in Munich. Germany were eventually forced to qualify the hard way, winning a two-legged play-off against the Ukraine, but the important thing in the end was that the 42-year-old had got them there. Born in 1960, Voller made a name for himself as a player at Munich 1860 before moving to Werder Bremen in 1982. In his last season at 1860, he earned the gratitude of the fans by scoring 37 goals in the second division.

Kirch edges closer to insolvency
CNN – Apr 4, 2002
5 billion euros ($5. 72 billion) of debt, much of it built up by KirchMedia, which owns the rights to the 2002 and 2006 World Cup football tournaments and has a majority stake in German broadcaster ProSiebenSat1. Leo Kirch,75, who built up the group over the past 47 years, has reportedly agreed to give up control in exchange for a continuing interest in the group’s World Cup broadcasting rights. Those involved in the talks include News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who also owns the country’s main private broadcaster Mediaset. Both media moguls already have stakes in Kirch. Sources close to Kirch told Reuters that the group would not file for insolvency until either the banks or the investors admitted the rescue effort had failed.

Media giant falls back to earth
BBC News – Apr 8, 2002
As German TV was liberalised in the 1980s his power grew further, as he moved from selling content to becoming a broadcaster himself with Sat 1 satellite channel. By the 1990s, pay-TV beckoned, and the Premiere World digital channel was created. The Kirch billions swept up sports rights too, including both the 2002 and 2006 World Cup and the Bundesliga football league, as well as buying into Formula One motor racing. Tangled web

But empire building costs money. Kirch Gruppe paid its way by creating a staggeringly convoluted network of deals, loans – the group has debts of more than 6. 5bn euros – and subsidiaries.

Anger over German soccer plan
CNN – Apr 5, 2002
“This is being discussed although without any concrete results as yet,” a spokeswoman for the German government’s economics ministry told Reuters. “It’s about a financial guarantee fund, not gifting tax money. ” Kirch, which holds the broadcast rights for the 2002 and 2006 World Cup finals, also has majority stakes in Germany’s largest commercial TV broadcaster and the Formula One motor racing business. The group was due to make two payments of 100 million euros each to the league at the beginning of May and the beginning of August. On Friday Kirch’s core business was set to file for insolvency with a rescue deal looking unlikely.

Kirch declares itself insolvent
BBC News – Apr 8, 2002
The German media giant owns the broadcast rights to the football World Cup and Formula 1 motor racing, and its implosion puts thousands of jobs – and a string of television channels – at stake. Investors and creditors failed to salvage the group as a going concern during negotiations that lasted all of the past week… Some of Kirch’s key properties have been shielded from insolvency. Kirch’s Formula One rights are held by its majority-owned SLEC subsidiary, not included in the insolvent KirchMedia unit, and are now likely to be sold. And the firm has already ring-fenced its rights to World Cup coverage in 2002 and 2006, after transferring them to a KirchSport unit in Switzerland. Fifa’s president Sepp Blatter and Kirch’s chief executive stripped the World Cup rights – valued at 1. 9bn euros – out of the group last month. It would have been difficult to renegotiate the broadcast rights, with less than two months to go until kick-off. Boom and bust

Leo Kirch spent almost half a century building up the group which controls Germany’s biggest commercial broadcaster ProSieben and 40% of the popular tabloid Bild (also not included in the insolvency announcement).

Gabon pull out of 2006 bid
BBC News – Apr 4, 2002
The country’s government issued a directive, telling its football association that they cannot remain as one of the candidates. The government said the country has insufficient funds to stage the 16-team tournament. Gabon’s withdrawal may be followed by that of
South Africa. They are contemplating withdrawing their bid, in order to focus on winning the right to host the World Cup in 2010. Officially they remain in the race, together with Algeria, Ivory Coast, Egypt and Libya… The government said the country has insufficient funds to stage the 16-team tournament. Gabon’s withdrawal may be followed by that of
South Africa. They are contemplating withdrawing their bid, in order to focus on winning the right to host the World Cup in 2010. Officially they remain in the race, together with Algeria, Ivory Coast, Egypt and Libya.

Blatter’s innocent tour
BBC News – Apr 8, 2002
During the tour he met with leaders, ministers and soccer officials. He took Abedi Pele along to add a little glamour, and to drive home an
endorsement from one of African football’s most popular sons, to add to the
expression of support already received from Roger Milla. Blatter also invited South African Football Association president Molefi
Oliphant along on his private jet as it sped through the region. The South Africans would be a big fish to catch for his campaign, and there
is no doubt that there is still some bitterness that the country received no
formal endorsement from Caf during their 2006 World Cup bid… He took Abedi Pele along to add a little glamour, and to drive home an
endorsement from one of African football’s most popular sons, to add to the
expression of support already received from Roger Milla. Blatter also invited South African Football Association president Molefi
Oliphant along on his private jet as it sped through the region. The South Africans would be a big fish to catch for his campaign, and there
is no doubt that there is still some bitterness that the country received no
formal endorsement from Caf during their 2006 World Cup bid.

Blatter under fresh attack
Telegraph.co.uk – Apr 5, 2002
As if that was not enough, The Sunday Telegraph has learned that Blatter was asked to resign by Will and others only after the revelation in zen Ruffinen’s report that he had personally instructed an illegal $100,000 (£67,000) payment to one of his staunchest supporters and a further $25,000 (£17,000) of his own money to a former African referee. It is also understood that Friday’s meeting was told that the collapse of ISL, FIFA’s marketing agents, had cost an estimated 290 million Swiss francs, (£132 m) five times more than Blatter had been prepared to admit, and that he had personally intervened “for political reasons” to veto a far higher offer from a rival marketing company. In addition, serious doubts were expressed, according to high-ranking sources, as to why 366 million Swiss francs (£167 m) earmarked for the 2006 World Cup had been used in the current financial period to prop up FIFA and why Blatter’s “Goal” project, ostensibly used to provide funds and equipment for poorer FIFA nations, had made available 4 million Swiss francs (£1. 8 m) for the centre of excellence in Port of Spain run by Warner’s cash-rich Concacaf confederation of north and central America. Although Hayatou has been playing catch-up in recent weeks, the stunning revelations in zen Ruffinen’s dossier seem certain to have gained him significant backing. Last night, Will said he was “astounded at the detail” of alleged personal misuse of funds by Blatter. The entire executive committee, he said, would now begin seeking legal advice over whether Blatter had violated Swiss criminal law.

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