HomeNewsFootballGermany

DFL chief keen to end German football’s ‘no-single-buyer’ rights rule

Deutsche Fußball Liga chief executive Christian Seifert has hinted that the organising body of the top two divisions of German football will push to remove the ‘no-single-buyer’ rule ahead of the auction of its next set of broadcast rights in April 2020.

“I have a big question mark as to whether we need a ‘no-single-buyer’ rule again,” Seifert said. “Given the technical possibilities associated with the content strategies of new or existing market participants, there is enough competition.”

The ‘no-single-buyer’ rule was introduced by the Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s competition authority, in 2016. Consequently, live rights for the current four-season 2017-18 to 2020-21 broadcast rights cycle were split between pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland, sports broadcaster Eurosport, and public-service broadcaster ZDF.

Highlights rights were acquired by public-service broadcaster ARD and sports broadcaster Sport1. Streaming service DAZN picked up clips rights.

The DFL is now assessing its strategy for the 2021-22 season onwards. With fans currently requiring two pay-television subscriptions, Sky and Eurosport, to watch all matches live, Seifert told German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung that the rights could again revert to a single buyer.

“The call for tenders should begin at the end of the year. The auction will start at the end of the first quarter of 2020 and [the rights] will be auctioned off in April,” he said.

Seifert reiterated that the DFL is keen to ensure the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga retain a strong presence on free-to-air television.

“We have always insisted on a good mix between free-to-air TV and pay-TV. Football in free TV is important not only for the sponsors, who want to have a wide reach, but above all for the broad anchoring of football in society.”

Most recent

Pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus’s surprise move to share all its English Premier League rights in France for the 2019-22 cycle with telco Altice was related to a carriage deal secured late last year with Altice, SportBusiness Media understands. This deal enabled Canal’s platform to show RMC Sport channels, allowing it access to the Uefa Champions League.

The value of the Israeli Basketball Premier League’s domestic rights has stalled, with incumbent pay-television broadcaster Sports Channel renewing rights from 2019-20 amid little competition.

The two-and-a-half-year negotiation between Brazilian club Palmeiras and media group Globo ended in a good result for the club last month, as it became one of only three Série A clubs to receive a minimum guarantee for its pay-per-view rights in 2019.

The rights value in Italy for the pre-season International Champions Cup football tournament was weighed down by a combination of lower inventory, a busy summer sports calendar and a tough market environment, SportBusiness Media understands.