French TV network TF1 is putting the finishing touches to a planned $325 million buyout of pan-European cable broadcaster Eurosport.

The French firm has agreed to purchase the 49.5% holding currently in the hands of pay-TV group Canal Plus, which has been forced to shed its Eurosport stake as a regulatory condition of the Vivendi Universal merger.

The two companies stated that the deal would follow similar lines to that of last May, when ESPN sold its Eurosport shares to TF1 and Canal Plus.

Eurosport, with an estimated daily audience of over 20m, is one of Europe’s leading cable channels – so much so that Vivendi is planning a rival station of its own following the forced sale of its stake [WAMN: 02-Jan-01].

News source: Advertising Age - International Daily