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Bank backs Kirch German football TV rights deal

13 October 2007 18:51

BERLIN (AFP) - Leo Kirch, the German media entrepreneur whose empire went bust five years ago, has received backing from the country's second largest bank for marketing the domestic broadcast rights for Bundesliga football matches, according to a report to appear Monday.

The German Football League (DFL) said last week that Kirch's Sirus agency will sell the rights for the Bundesliga, one of Europe's top leagues, for six seasons until 2015.

In a surprise announcement, the DFL said it expected revenue of three billion euros (4.2 billion dollars).

According to the weekly Focus, quoting financial sources, Commerzbank has given Kirch a million-euro guarantee per season for the contract with the DFL.

Kirch held the Bundesliga broadcast rights in 2002 when the collapse of his debt-laden media empire led to dire financial consequences for German clubs. It was the largest post-war bankruptcy on record, with debts totalling 6.5 billion euros.

Kirch, 80 and almost blind, has since steered his way back into the media world.

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