A restructuring took place last week, with the full support of FIFA, which guarantees a continued and smooth operation throughout the 2002 FIFA World Cup and beyond. This was carried out as a precaution in anticipation of KirchMedia GmbH & KGaA’s insolvency declaration.
The aim of the restructure was to eliminate any interruption in the management of the FIFA World Cup broadcast rights. The restructure has taken into account the interests of KirchMedia’s creditors and investors, since the restructure’s approval by FIFA ensures that the rights will remain a protected asset of the group.
The changes ensure that all FIFA-related broadcast rights as well as the implementation and operational management for the FIFA World Cup broadcast rights are combined within a vertically integrated group of companies, falling under KirchSport AG, headquartered in Zug (Switzerland).
KirchSport AG and its experienced management team and employees have been directly involved in all operational aspects of the FIFA World Cup television project since 1997 (originally through Prisma Sports & Media AG).
Their role was originally carried out in a sales and servicing agent capacity on behalf ofKirchMedia. However, with the announcement of the new structure, KirchSport AG’s role is expanded further to become the parent company of the rights-holding entities.
The two rights-holding entities for the World Cup broadcast rights, KirchMedia WM AG and KirchMedia WM GmbH, as well as Host Broadcast Services AG (HBS), the company responsible for producing the World Cup television coverage, are now fully controlled subsidiaries of KirchSport AG (Switzerland).
The companies are all financially sound and legally independent and will be in a position to fulfil all their obligations towards the broadcasters.
This restructuring has absolutely no effect on the contractual rights that have been granted to the FIFA World Cup broadcasters.
KirchSport AG, which is the result of the merger of Prisma Sports & Media AG and CWL Telesport and Marketing AG, has been and continues to be financially sound and will continue to operate without interruption, based on the company’s substantial long-term rights portfolio.
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