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After completing high school, he studied marketing and management as well as mathematics at the University of Munich , graduating in It was during this time that he gained an interest in electronic media. This situation remained for many decades, until the launch of commercial television in Kirch was the owner of the first private channel, Sat. During the s he set up the subscription television service Premiere and became a key player in sports broadcasting rights, paying massive amounts for the rights to the German Bundesliga , eventually to the point where even players of moderate ability could earn multi-million mark salaries.
This was consistent with trends happening across much of Europe at the same time. His large investments in sports broadcasting rights and in pay television were major reasons. In other countries of Europe pay television could be operated profitably, because there were few freely receivable channels.
Many programs also aired on Premiere at the same time that they aired on terrestrial television. Combined with the fact that many of the packages were more expensive than similar packages available, the decoder was easy to crack, resulting in large amounts of piracy.
In these difficulties came to a head and KirchMedia declared itself insolvent on April 8. Kirch himself withdrew itself from the enterprise, but kept up participation in the Swiss arms on his business, transferring sports broadcasting rights to the subsidiary. The insolvency represents the largest insolvency of an enterprise in German postwar history.
Kirch was always accused of preferential coverage and advertising. Kohl arranged the creation of commercial television as one of his first official acts as Chancellor in ; this allowed Kirch to own a TV station and sports broadcasting rights.
He died in Munich , aged The two had one son, Thomas. Peter Kirch had one son Kristoffer Kirch, born on October
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