NewsCorp Tightens Grip on Germany's Premiere TV

24 December 2008

UNTERFÖHRING: Germany's largest pay-TV operator Premiere, in which NewsCorporation already holds a substantial stake, has struck a deal with German financial regulators that will enable the latter to increase its holding to beyond 30% - the threshold at which a full takeover bid is usually mandatory.

This regulatory concession allows the cash-strapped satellite broadcaster to renegotiate debt facilities of €525 million ($732.48m; £494.75m) with banks, conditional on selling €450 million of new shares in rights offers backed by NewsCorp.

Premiere, reeling from four successive quarters in the red, has been beset by cost increases and loss of revenues after its subscription encryption system was hacked by subscription pirates. It is now secure.

The company offers extensive digital quality content via twenty-seven German TV and 21 audio channels, while its international offering extends to seventeen foreign language channels: eight in Turkish, four Italian and five Russian.

Data sourced from (Germany); additional content by WARC staff