21st Century Fox's Sky Deutschland Buys Big into Sports TV in Germany
Sky Deutschland, the German pay-TV group controlled by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, is doubling down on its commitment to sports programming, signing a $78.4 million (€57.5 million) deal with Constantin Sport Holding to take full control of TV sports production company Plazamedia as well as a 25.1 percent stake in both sports TV channel Sport 1 and Constantin Sport Marketing.
Plazamedia is best known for producing live coverage of Germany's Bundesliga soccer matches for Sky. Bundesliga games form a cornerstone of Sky's programming in Germany.
The deal, announced Thursday, should allow Sky to have more control over the production and presentation of its sports offerings here.
Sky said it would finance the purchase through new credit lines backed by majority shareholder 21st Century Fox. Fox has committed to bankrolling the deal with an unsecured shareholder loan should Sky be unable to secure sufficient third-party credit.
Sky said it expects the deal to close in the first quarter of next year. The agreement still needs to get the greenlight from German regulators. Sky management said the deal will not impact operating profit forecasts.