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Agreement in Axel Springer-Sky dispute ahead of Bundesliga kick-off

The dispute between German newspaper publisher Axel Springer and pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland concerning the online highlights clips rights to Bundesliga football has been settled with Sky agreeing to post only clips of four minutes or more in length, according to the Digital Fernsehen website.

With the 2013-14 Bundesliga season commencing tonight, the row between the two companies has been intensifying in recent days.

In April 2012, Axel Springer acquired rights for online highlights clips to the Bundesliga, which will be shown on the Bild newspaper website on a pay-per-view basis from an hour after the end of the game, before becoming free at midnight on the day of the game.

The deal covers the four seasons from 2013-14 to 2016-17, but Sky, which acquired all live pay-television rights packages and mobile rights in last year’s tender, said it planned to offer access to Bundesliga goals immediately after the final whistle via its Sky Sports News app.

Under the new agreement, Sky will be able to produce Bundesliga game video for its app immediately after the final whistle on Saturdays and Sundays, but it will not be permitted to pursue its original plan of providing short clips of 10 to 40 seconds per match. Sky’s clips will have to be at least four minutes in length.

Digital Fernsehen said Axel Springer’s rights concern highlight videos with a length of 90 seconds to six minutes and are regarded as ‘non-linear’ or on-demand products, differing from the linear coverage of the new Sky app whose rights are based in the broadcaster’s television contract with the German Football League.

Axel Springer had threatened to take legal action over the dispute, but it has now said that it is satisfied with the resolution.