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Business

German Channels in Bidding War for Formula One Rights

A fierce bidding war has broken out between German private television broadcasters RTL Group and ProSiebenSat.1 over television rights for the coveted Formula One auto racing series. The German newspaper "Süddeutsche Zeitung" reported on Thursday that the Munich-based ProSiebenSat.1 wants to secure broadcasting rights for years 2004-2008. The rights are currently held by RTL Group, but ProSiebenSat.1 has reportedly offered a higher bid. The company -- formerly part of the bankrupt Kirch Group but recently purchased by Bauer Publishing for close to 2 million euros -- is reportedly offering a total of 400 million euro ($400.2 million). Currently, RTL pays close to 80 million euro per season for the Formula One rights. However, its contract is set to expire in 2003.