DFL launches tender for domestic Bundesliga rights

The Deutsche Fussball Liga, the German football league, launched the full tender for the next cycle of its domestic rights, from 2013-14 to 2016-17, with a first-round bidding deadline of April 2.

The tender has 19 rights packages, covering cable, satellite, free-to-air, IPTV, internet and mobile rights for the Bundesliga 1 and 2, the top two tiers of professional football in Germany. The league expects the sales process to be completed before the end of the 2011-12 season in May.

League chief executive Christian Seifert said that 45 companies had registered an interest in bidding in the first stage of the tender process, which began in December. According to Reuters, the league will announce a shortlist of bidding companies, expected to number around 20, on February 16.

The tender offers two different scenarios for free-to-air rights. The first scenario offers free-to-air highlights on Saturdays at around 6pm, as in the current deals under which the rights are held by public-service broadcaster ARD. The second scenario offers early-evening highlights on the internet only, with television highlights delayed until 9.45pm. The league will evaluate the bids for each scenario before deciding which approach to take.

The German competition regulator, the Bundeskartellamt, approved the sales process last month.

“The prerequisites for a fair bidding competition were created in close coordination with the federal cartel office (the Bundeskartellamt),” Seifert said. “The request for bids process for the coming rights period will be conducted in accordance with clear rules of the game.”