The Kirch group is poised to take full control of Germany's populist commercial channel SAT1 in a deal worth upwards of $700m, according to local reports.

Kirch is expected to buy the 41% stake in SAT1 which is owned by publisher Axel Springer. While Kirch offered no comment, Springer confirmed that it has been in long-running talks with Kirch about the building of a family of channels including Kabel 1 and N24 around the Pro7 flagship channel. It said that these negotiations had not been finalised.

While the expected sale would mark Springer's withdrawal from the TV sector, it is possible that it will invest in Pro7's expanded multimedia and internet operations. For tax reasons the deal would not be expected to become effective until January next year.