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Bayern chief calls on DFL to secure enhanced Bundesliga rights deal

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has fired his latest shot in the ongoing discussions surrounding the value of broadcast rights for German club football by urging the German Football League (DFL) to secure better agreements from its next set of contracts.

A tender for the next cycle of Bundesliga rights, from 2017-18 to 2020-21, is expected to be opened by the middle of 2016. Rummenigge (pictured) has been a vocal figure in calls for an overhaul in the Bundesliga’s broadcast rights model and a change in the method of revenue distribution for the top division of German football.

He continued this drive at Bayern’s annual general meeting on Friday evening, calling on the DFL to ensure better rights deals if Bundesliga clubs are to remain competitive against English Premier League teams fuelled by revenues from the competition’s next set of broadcast contracts. “That means transfer sums and salaries will rise sharply in the coming years,” Rummenigge said. “The Bundesliga will feel it and Bayern too. We are already feeling it.”

In April 2012, pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland held off competition from telco Deutsche Telekom to acquire the key pay-television and mobile rights packages to the Bundesliga from 2013-14 to 2016-17.

Sky acquired all live pay-television rights packages, including the IPTV rights which Telekom held in the previous cycle. Sky also acquired the mobile rights which Telekom had held. The annual German figure of about €800m ($848m) for television rights is a fraction of the revenue influx EPL clubs will enjoy from the league’s new deal.

UK pay-television broadcaster Sky will pay an increase of more than 80 per cent in its rights fee over the EPL’s next three-year cycle, from 2016-17 to 2018-19, committing a total of £4.176bn (€5.96bn/$6.32bn) over the cycle for 126 matches per year through five packages. Pay-television broadcaster BT Sport will pay an average of £320m per year for 42 games in the other two packages.

Rummenigge, who has previously stated Bundesliga rights would be better distributed amongst multiple providers, added: “Bayern has its price, I can assure you a very high price, and there are reasons for that. I am not prepared to accept that Bayern is in 26th place (in annual television rights revenues in Europe). This cannot be our aim. I call on the DFL to urgently increase revenues… for clubs to remain competitive internationally.”

Rummenigge said Bayern will receive €73m in television rights for the current 2015-16 season compared with Manchester United’s €210m.