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Tuesday, 25 July, 2000, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Liverpool FC in 20m online deal
Granada Television
This is the first major deal for Granada Media since its listing
Granada Media is to invest 20m in a joint venture with Liverpool Football Club, offering fans the chance to watch some Premier League matches online.

Liverpool FC will contribute its media and commercial rights to the deal. Fans should be able to watch delayed coverage of some matches on the internet as well as on WAP-enabled mobile phones and digital television.

The service will also offer an online betting service, online shopping for Liverpool merchandise and live auctions of memorabilia.

More similar deals could be on the way, Granada Media's chief executive Steve Morrison said.

"I would not preclude trying to do something similar with other football clubs, but they would have to have the same range that Liverpool has," he said.

He added: " The commercial service will be tailored to the appetite of each territory. So in the UK, merchandising might be big, while in the Far East, gambling might be very big."

The service will be available in the UK within a year and a half.

Its revenues will come from sponsors, banner advertising, merchandise sales and subscriptions to some services, Mr Morrison added.

Web relaunch

The internet portal will be developed over the next five years. It will start with the relaunch of the Liverpool's existing website LiverpoolFC.net.

The club has an estimated 2.5 million fans in the UK and 10 million worldwide.

The deal is the first major deal announced by Granada Media since it was listed on the Stock Exchange earlier in July.

Granada paid 22m for a 9.9% stake in the football club last year.

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See also:

11 Jul 00 | Business
Granada raises 1.3bn warchest
18 Jul 00 | Business
ITV: What next?
13 Jul 99 | The Company File
Granada buys stake in Liverpool FC
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