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ARD and ZDF to retain blanket coverage of 2014 World Cup

German commercial broadcaster RTL and pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland will not acquire rights for live coverage of football games from the 2014 Fifa World Cup national team tournament, according to the Horizont website.

Both RTL and Sky will provide highlights of games on their news broadcasts, but the only live coverage is set to be shown by public-service broadcasters ARD and ZDF.

Sky said that the lack of exclusivity offered by the World Cup’s blanket coverage on free-to-air television was the reason behind its decision not to seek a sublicensing deal with ARD and ZDF for live games.

RTL broadcast nine games during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and eight during the 2006 tournament, which was hosted by Germany.

In July, RTL acquired rights for Uefa Euro 2016 and 2018 World Cup qualifying matches. It will show live coverage and highlights of all Germany national team qualifying games.

Commenting on its 2014 World Cup strategy, RTL said: “We have clearly positioned ourselves by acquiring the rights for the qualifying matches for Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup.”