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Deutsche Telekom to bid for Bundesliga rights

Should Telekom receive the rights, which are estimated to cost about 225 million euros every year, Der Spiegel reported on Sunday that it might look to sell the cable rights to a third party.

A spokesman for Telekom, which currently owns only the Bundesliga rights for Internet-TV, declined comment.

Telekom's head of Germany, Niek Jan van Damme told a German newspaper in December that he was considering bidding for the satellite rights as well, since about 115,000 customers that get Telekom's Entertain TV over satellite cannot see games live.

The Deutsche Fussball Liga, or DFL, is set to announce on Thursday how it will carve up the rights packages for four seasons starting with 2013/14 during the upcoming auction.

Pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland currently has more than three million customers, but it needs the exclusive live rights to Germany's premiere league to better compete with free-to-air rivals including ProSiebenSat.1.

Roughly every second customer receives Sky content via satellite, so a loss of the rights is a considerable risk for the company.

Its share price plummeted 40 percent in one week alone after losing out to UnityMedia subsidiary Arena in a December 2005 auction.

Vodafone, the world's largest mobile operator in terms of revenue and the second-largest phone company in Germany after Deutsche Telekom, is also mulling a bid for Bundesliga football games on its own or with a partner, a spokesman for the British group's German unit told Reuters.