Arena eyes Premiere compromise


COLOGNE, Germany -- German pay TV player Arena is ready to compromise in order to get regulatory approval for its satellite distribution deal with Teutonic competitor Premiere.

Parm Sandhu, head of Arena parent company Unity Media, has saidthat Arena would even consider waiving plans to take a 16.7% stake in Premiere, a key aspect of the satellite deal.

Premiere stopped distribution and marketing of Arena soccer-channel Bundesliga Live last week amid fears that media authorities would block the deal.

In an interview with Financial Times Deutschland, Sandhu said problems with the satellite agreement meant Arena would not achieve break-even this year as forecast.

Arena booked an operating loss of €132.4 million ($181.1 million) last year.

Critics of the Arena-Premiere agreement argue it would essentially eliminate all competition in the German pay TV market.

Antitrust authorities are expected to rule on the deal by May 31.
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