The prospect of the KirchGroup's pay TV unit KirchPayTV filing for insolvency is now appearing 'extremely unlikely', according to a report in the German Sunday newspaper Welt am Sonntag (WamS).
Sources close to talks told the newspaper that Rupert Murdoch is allegedly prepared to stump up Euros 600m to increase his stake in the ailing pay TV platform Premiere into a majority holding. German banks have also signalled their interest in being involved in a revamp of the platform which has so far only attracted 2.4m subscribers.
According to an executive close to events, Premiere is looking to obtain 50% rebates on the price of sports rights for the German Bundesliga and of film rights obtained from the US major studios via output deals. (In the case of the Bundesliga, the re-negotiation of the license payments could mean Euros 150m-200m less revenues for the football clubs in the next two seasons.)
WamS pointed out that the US studios had been prepared to make substantial concessions as they were concerned about coming away almost empty-handed in the event of a KirchPayTV insolvency.
Premiere's CEO Georg Kofler had stressed in an interview with the weekend issue of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung that Premiere would stay on the air unabated. 'The customers will not notice any difference on the screen, the channels will then carry on running', he told the newspaper.