Liberty Media expands in Germany

Liberty Media - the financial benefactor behind Discovery, Court TV and STARZ!, among others - has brokered a deal with Deutsche Telekom to pick up six German cable franchises.
June 28, 2001

Liberty Media’s presence in Europe just got bigger. The U.S. communications giant has negotiated with Germany’s Deutsche Telekom to fully purchase six of DT’s nine regional cable franchises. The estimated value of the deal is in the ballpark of US$4.3 billion. While Liberty has brokered with DT for 100% ownership, the U.S. company is in talks with the U.K.’s Klesch & Co. to sell a 24.9% stake. Liberty and DT expect to reach definitive agreement by July.

Liberty holds interest in Discovery Communications (49%), Court TV (50%), STARZ! (100%) and E! Entertainment Television (10%), among other programming, communications, technology and internet businesses. A Liberty spokesperson says the focus of the German cable franchises has not yet been determined.

The six cable television regions that DT will sign over are: Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein/Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Bremen/Niedersachsen, Rheinland-Pfalz/Saarland, Berlin/Brandenburg, Sachsen/Sachsen-Anhalt/Thüringen and Bayern. More than 10 million homes are connected to the cable network in these six regions.

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.