DFL invites broadcasters to register for domestic Bundesliga rights tender

Companies interested in the domestic broadcast rights to Germany’s Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga from 2021-22 to 2024-25 have been invited by the German Football League (DFL) to register for the forthcoming invitation to tender process.

The DFL today announced the start of the ITT process and, pending the final sign-off from the Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s federal cartel office, plans to send out the documents in March to admitted participants.

The rights cover Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and the autonomous South Tyrol province in Italy. Along with regular-season matches from the Bundesliga and second-tier 2. Bundesliga, the inventory on offer also includes the DFL Supercup and the relegation play-offs.

The DFL currently brings in €1.16bn ($1.25bn) 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).

The DFL has outlined the following rights on offer from 2021-22 to 2024-25:

  • Audiovisual rights, i.e. video rights, for live exploitation and delayed exploitation via satellite, terrestrial, cable/IPTV, web and mobile distribution channels
  • Audio exploitation rights, i.e. rights to (live) radio reporting, including radio, web and mobile distribution channels
  • Exploitation rights for digital advertising and information systems, i.e. rights to broadcast video via outdoor digital advertising spaces in public (“digital out-of-home”)

Broadcasters interested in the rights can now register to participate and will be sent a procedure letter no earlier than February 27 and pending the payment of the one-off registration fee of €2,500.

The letter will provide details on the schedule and procedural rules, including the deadlines and criteria for admission, the procedure for submitting bids and the criteria and procedure for the award of rights packages.

The DFL expects to award the rights in May.

Holger Blask, the DFL’s director of audio-visual rights, recently revealed the details of the proposed rights packages, as reported by SportBusiness.

Proposed alterations from the previous ITT include: An 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 new proposed tender will feature seven live packages (Packages A to G) and seven highlights and clips packages (Packages H to N). The live proposed packages 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 – 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.