Premiere stock jumps on Bundesliga news

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BERLIN -- Shares at German pay TV group Premiere jumped 4.4% to €19.35 ($26.30) in early afternoon trading Friday as reports came out that the Bundesliga may be heading back home to Premiere.

This follows Thursday's statement by Germany's cartel office that it is likely to approve a satellite distribution deal between Arena and Premiere that many consider key to Premiere's expansion (HR 7/5).

According to sources near the two companies, Arena plans to sublicense its Bundesliga rights to Premiere for the coming season, which begins Aug. 10.

Sources say this was part of the compromise the companies proposed to the cartel office to get approval of their satellite deal.

Premiere will reportedly pay a hefty price for the Bundesliga rights. Arena shells out €240 million ($326 million) a season to the German Soccer League to broadcast all matches.

But Christoph Schlienbamp, a media analyst at Bankhaus Lampe, believes the deal will be greatly advantageous for Premiere, even if the price is high, because it would mean Arena, Premiere's sole competitor, would essentially disappear.

"After (Arena's) failed attempt, no one in the next few years will try to compete with Premiere," Schlienkamp said.

Premiere, Arena and the German Soccer League all declined comment Friday.
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