EM.Sport Media takes 15% of Wige Media


COLOGNE, Germany -- German television group EM.Sport Media has acquired a 15% stake in Cologne-based production outfit Wige Media from securities trading bank Close Brothers Seydler.

The deal, which was reportedly valued at $3 million-$4 million, is part of EM's strategy to shift its business entirely to the field of sports TV.

Wige has a wide production profile but its specialty is live sports -- particularly Formula One auto racing and professional soccer. The company has been production partner of EM subsidiary Plazamedia for several years.

EM board member Rainer Huther called Wige "the perfect fit" for Plazamedia. With the European production market undergoing a consolidation phase, Huther said EM wanted to play "an active role" by expanding its capacity to cover live, outdoor sporting events.

EM has been trying, unsuccessfully, to sell off its money-losing kids entertainment division in order to focus entirely on sports. The kids unit, which includes a massive library of old German cartoons and the kids pay TV channel Junior TV, has been on the market for months. A glut of children's programming on the world market and the current credit crunch in the U.S. has made it hard for EM to offload the division.