When I talk about the Bundesliga, my articles often outline that the german league is becoming more and more competitive, and most importantly, financially sustainable. Yesterday, the Bundesliga reported to have sold its broadcast rights for four seasons from 2013-14 for €2.5 billion, marking a huge increase of more than 50% over the current cycle.
The agreement is worth some €628 million per year to the German Football League (DFL), compared to current annual average rights revenues of Eur412 million. Sky Deutschland and ARD were the big winners of the tender, with Sky continuing to broadcast all 1.Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga matches live, having acquired the pay-TV rights for cable, satellite, terrestrial and IPTV, as well as web TV and mobile phone distribution despite competition for all of the rights from telco Deutsche Telekom.
The DFL also opted to maintain its ‘classic’ coverage package, with an early evening highlights programme continuing to be shown on Saturdays on free-to-air television by public-service broadcaster ARD.
ARD may show its Saturday evening ‘Sportschau’ show simultaneously over the internet and on mobile devices, and the broadcaster has also purchased highlights rights for Sunday matches and a seven-game package of live broadcasts.
This package encompasses the opening games of the season and first match after the winter break, the promotion/relegation play-offs and the pre-season Supercup. Free-to-air rival ZDF will continue to hold the rights for the second showing of the 1.Bundesliga’s Saturday afternoon games and the first showing of the late Saturday kick-off at 18:30 local time.
Tuesday’s deal also sees the inclusion of a new face in the German football landscape. From 2013-14, publishing house Axel Springer will be able to offer clips from all the games on web TV and mobile phone networks.
The clips will be available for a fee an hour after the end of the games, and for free after midnight on the same day. With industry experts predicting a rise in revenues to €450 million a year, the DFL’s new deal positions the Bundesliga closer to the English Premier League’s (EPL) crown as football’s media rights king. The EPL’s current three-year domestic rights deal is worth £1.782 billion (Eur2.16 billion), but increased competition for the 2013-16 cycle is likely to boost this further.
Regarding Tuesday’s announcement, DFL president Reinhard Rauball said: “This is a good day for the Bundesliga, and for German football as a whole. Clubs, fans and our media partners all now have a framework with which to plan ahead for the next few years.
This agreement lays the foundations for the ongoing successful development of the Bundesliga. As far as the distribution of revenues goes, we will initiate a structured decision-making process, adopting the principles of merit and solidarity as guidelines, as we have in the past.”
Christian Seifert, CEO of the DFL, added: “The agreement fuses traditional viewing patterns with innovative, forward-looking possibilities. Factoring-in the additional international revenues, the German professional game will be generating some Eur700 million annually from the central marketing of media rights in the years ahead.
With that, the Bundesliga is consolidating its position as one of the world’s most profitably marketable leagues. The clubs will have more financial leeway than ever before.” [Source: Sport Business]
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