German pay-TV platform Premiere World, whose gargantuan losses set in motion the downfall of the Kirch Gruppe media empire, is up for auction.
Around twenty parties have expressed an interest and been sent financial details of the firm, a unit of the insolvent KirchPayTV.
Groups expected to show an interest include several US movie studios and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation – although the rueful Rupert recently opined: “We're feeling pretty sore about it [KirchMedia], and it's a case of once bitten, twice shy” [WAMN: 16-Aug-02]. German media giant Bertelsmann has already decided not to take part.
Premiere is the nation’s only pay-TV platform and has amassed a subscriber base of 2.4 million. Interested parties have two to three weeks to enter bids.
Meanwhile, the sale of KirchMedia – Kirch Gruppe’s flagship rights unit – is thought to have been narrowed to two bidders. The duo still in the race are French broadcaster TF1 (in partnership with American billionaire Haim Saban) and Sony.
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff