German television sender ARD paid former T-Mobile star Jan Ullrich up to €195,000 year for special interviews and appearances, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung. In addition, the contract called for bonuses of up to €65,000 based on performance.
The latest contract, from dated 2003, called for €48,750 to be transferred quarterly to his Swiss bank account. In a statement released by the ARD, it said that Ullrich was paid for such extra things as "a daily 'diary' during the Tour de France, appearances in ARD entertainment programs." The contract did not call for exclusive interviews at the expense of other German TV senders.
In addition to the base payment, the contract called for bonuses based on Ullrich's success. A stage win in the Tour de France was worth €20,000, the Olympic gold medal in Sydney €30,000 and the overall victory in the Deutschland Tour would have brought in €40,000.
The contract is a source of controversy in Germany for several reasons. ARD was a co-sponsor of the the Team Telekom from 1997 to 2004, which raises questions of impartiality. In addition, the ARD is not a private station, but a public station, supported by government funds.