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Bundesliga tender includes improved production, more clips and digital out-of-home rights

Further details of the inventory on offer in the Bundesliga’s forthcoming domestic broadcast rights tender process were released today by the German Football League (DFL).

Elements revealed by the DFL in Frankfurt today (Tuesday) include a total of 176 matches produced in 4K ultra-high definition format each season, additional digital and mobile clips for pay-television broadcasters and the details of the ‘digital out-of-home’ package.

Along with the rights in Germany, the DFL has expanded the scope of the licenced territories to include Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and the South Tyrol province in Italy.

Along with regular-season matches from the Bundesliga and second-tier 2. Bundesliga from 2021-22 to 2024-25, the inventory on offer also includes the DFL Supercup and the relegation play-offs.

The DFL plans to send out the tender documents to admitted participants later this month, following final sign-off from the Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s federal cartel office.

Cutting-edge broadcast technology will be given prominence in the DFL’s offering to the market. Along with 176 matches in 4K format, the top matches will be produced with 26 cameras by Sportcast, the DFL’s in-house production arm. Aerial camera systems, drones and corner flag cameras are all set to be incorporated into the host broadcast.

The new tender will feature seven live packages (Packages A to G) and seven highlights and clips packages (Packages H to N), as reported last month by SportBusiness.

New aspects that form part of the rights on offer include additional clips for digital and mobile usage within the live pay-television rights packages. These comprise in-match video and audio clips, along with on-demand clips that can be shown after the final whistle. Extensive club marketing rights as part of the live package are also offered.

The DFL said: “In line with the changing media usage, the possibility of creating digital offerings is being comprehensively expanded and tailored to different needs. Video and audio ‘In-match clips’ can be distributed by purchasers of pay live packages while the game is still in progress. For the first time, pay highlight clips can be used directly after the final whistle, and highlight programmes can be made available for the first time afterwards on demand, for example as a media library offering.”

Along with the addition of three free-to-air matches (per season), the details of which emerged at the start of the year, free-to-air rights-holders will also be able to make highlights programmes available on demand after midnight on Mondays. Furthermore, up to three ‘free-clip packages’ will allow licencees to offer on-demand coverage from the Monday after each match day.

The tendering of the digital out-of-home package is also a first for the DFL. This will offer video content that can be broadcast on outdoor advertising spaces. This package is designed to maximise the value of a burgeoning sector, with over 100,000 digital advertising screens in Germany and over 50 million contacts made each day. The DFL expects the share of digital advertising screens to reach around 50 per cent by 2025.

Christian Seifert, the DFL chief executive, said: “Our rights portfolio enables the purchasers to distribute the corresponding content in a modern and user-oriented manner. In doing so, the DFL counts on digital innovations and the highest presentation quality of all games.

“We have been able to make the live rights even more attractive as well as expand the comprehensive coverage on free TV – all while maintaining the regular schedule with a clear focus on the weekend.”

The DFL currently brings in €1.16bn ($1.28bn) per season from its domestic media-rights deals.

Under the current domestic rights contracts, pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland broadcasts 266 exclusive live Bundesliga matches per season, while subscription streaming service DAZN broadcasts 40 matches. Discovery-owned Eurosport acquired a package of rights in the last tender but last year sublicensed them to DAZN as part of a wider agreement. Sky also holds rights to all 306 2. Bundesliga matches per season.

There are additional deals with public-service broadcaster ARD (highlights), sports broadcaster Sport1 (highlights), and a direct deal with DAZN (highlights clips).

Package details

Proposed alterations from the previous ITT include: The additional three live free-to-air matches on offer; the removal of Monday night matches; and top-tier Friday night matches will be sold together with Sunday matches.

The seven live packages on offer are:

  • A – Pay-television rights to 166 Bundesliga matches (35 Konferezen) on Saturday 3.30pm, Tuesday/Wednesday 8.30pm
  • B – Pay-television rights to 170 individual Bundesliga matches on Saturday 3.30pm, Tuesday/Wednesday 6.30pm, 8.30pm (plus relegation playoff matches)
  • C – Pay-television rights to 33 Bundesliga matches on Saturday 6.30pm (plus DFL Super Cup)
  • D – Pay-television rights to 106 Bundesliga matches on Friday 8.30pm, Sunday 3.30pm, 5.30pm, 7.30pm
  • E – Free-to-air rights to 9 matches comprised of Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga relegation playoffs, Super Cup and regular-season matches
  • F – Pay-television rights to 275 2. Bundesliga matches (98 Konferezen) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (plus relegation playoff matches)
  • G – Pay-television or free-to-air rights to 33 Bundesliga matches on Saturday 8.30pm

Matches in package A are for the rights to broadcast 35 live ‘Konferenz’ programmes per season, the broadcasting of live action from various simultaneous matches in a singular broadcast.

The proposed tender also specifies a “no exclusive owner rule”. This means that if a single pay-television buyer acquires rights to packages A to D, then it would have to share rights to two packages with an internet and mobile provider on a co-exclusive basis.

Six of the highlights packages are for free-to-air broadcasters with only package M, which offers highlights clips after the final whistle, aimed at pay-television broadcasters.

Package I contains the free-to-air highlights rights within the current ‘Sportschau’ broadcast window (from Saturday at 6:30pm). There are also two audio packages on offer with one for FM radio and one for internet and mobile transmission.

The DFL expects to award its domestic broadcast rights in May.