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
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.