German media company Constantin Medien is considering selling all shares in sports TV broadcaster Sport1 and advertising sales agency Sport1 Media held by its wholly-owned subsidiary Constantin Sport Holding.
Constantin Medien is therefore conducting a structured and competitive bidding process with several potential buyers in view of such sale, according to a statement. The conditions for the possible sale have not yet been determined and will be thoroughly examined by the management board before its decision, stresses the company.
According to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, discussions are underway with Axel Springer and Sky Deutschland regarding the sale, the paper reports with reference to financial and industry circles, adding that there had also been negotiations with Freenet.
Broadband TV Views: The discussions to sell Sport1 come unexpected as Constantin Medien earlier planned to spin off its movie business to focus on its sports assets. The move marks another chapter in the internal battle between the two major shareholders regarding the company’s future strategy.
An acquisition of the sports assets by Axel Springer would be surprising. The German media company has been focussing its activities on the digital and online markets for years, thus the addition a classic linear sports channel would not exactly match its current strategy.
Sky Deutschland is probably mainly interested in Sport1’s nationwide coverage as a free-to-air sports channel across all transmission platforms which it could use to boost the reach of its free-to-air sports news channel Sky Sport News HD and promote its premium pay-TV sports offers following its recent acquisitions of the Bundesliga and Champions League rights.
However, tensions between Sky Deutschland and Constantin Medien are not unlikely following the cancelled takeover of Constantin Medien’s sports production subsidiary Plazamedia by Sky Deutschland in 2014. The transaction would have included a 25.1% stake in Sport1. Sky Deutschland also recently made headlines with its decision to drop Sport1 US from its line-up.