News Corp today has raised its stake in German pay-TV operator Premiere to 22.7%, nearing the 23% threshold that would give it a controlling majority.
Premiere holds the rights to broadcast live games from Germany’s top football league, the Bundesliga, which is probably the main reason behind News Corp’s interest.
Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate first acquired a 14.58% stake in Premiere in Jan, and upped it to 19.9% a month later. Last week, News Corp said it would accept a seat on the supervisory board of Premiere. The US firm may ask for it at Premiere’s annual shareholders’ meeting on Jun 12. The German broadcaster’s board is currently made up of three members in charge until 2009. Shareholders, however, may vote to expand it with a New Corp representative.
Meanwhile, Premiere has announced it is interested in buying Sat.1, a free entertainment channel owned by free-to-air broadcaster, ProSiebenSat.1.