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Murdoch to Military: 'Let There Be Soccer'

The U.S. Military was more or less resigned to missing out on watching the World Cup until media mogul Rupert Murdoch read about it in Tuesday's New York Times. Infront Sports and Media, which acquired the rights to broadcast the games from FIFA, failed to secure funding from the U.S. Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. Other military networks reportedly paid "reasonable" sums to broadcast the World Cup. Apparently, the American military broadcast network lacks the funds to buy sports rights and relies on national leagues like the NFL NBA, NHL, NCAA and MLB to donate coverage of their sports for free. After hearing this, Murdoch, who is one of the world's richest men, immediately got on the phone, telling one of his top executives: "Get this done." And so it wasor will be, imminently. A Pentagon spokesman responded by saying "This is a kind and generous offer for every serviceman and woman, and dependent, who's a soccer fan." News Corp. (Murdoch's company) representatives said the agreement was contingent upon completing talks with Infront. The soldiers who most likely would have missed the tournament are those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read the whole story at The New York Times »

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