DFL seeks to double its money as Bundesliga tender detailed

The German Football League (DFL) has outlined the terms of the tender for national media rights covering the next four-season cycle of its competitions and is aiming to double proceeds gained from the process.

The tender for the 2017-18 to 2020-21 seasons includes media rights in Germany for all Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga matches, the Supercup and the relegation play-offs.

Eight live rights packages and nine non-live packages are being offered, with rights-holders for the first time having the opportunity to exploit their rights across all distribution channels. The central live packages will be enhanced with additional rights such as in-match clips and highlight coverage of all Bundesliga matches.

Comprehensive free-to-air coverage on Saturdays and Sundays is still possible from 6.30pm or 9.15pm, respectively. For the first time ever, the tender will also include a Monday evening free-to-air highlights package featuring all weekend Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga matches.

Citing sporting reasons and balancing the interests of amateur football and fans travelling to away games, an additional five matches per season on Sundays and five further matches per season on Mondays will be introduced. In addition, one 2.Bundesliga match is to be moved from a Friday to a Saturday kick-off. To help fans and media partners better plan in advance, there will only be two match days per season with midweek matches on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The tender has been formally launched following Monday’s ruling by Germany’s federal cartel office, the Bundeskartellamt. The watchdog confirmed that it would enforce a ‘no single buyer’ rule in the tender, stating it would be sufficient if the rights to show between 30 and 102 Bundesliga matches out of a total of 306 per season were awarded to an alternative buyer.

Responding to the ruling, the DFL has said that should a single buyer buy all the live rights packages of the Bundesliga, an over-the-top package will be made available. This will comprise three live games per match day – one on Saturdays, two on Sundays – for platform-exclusive use via internet and mobile distribution channels.

The DFL has said it is seeking to secure €1.1-1.5bn ($1.23-1.68bn) per season from the new rights cycle, compared to the average of €748m per season for the current cycle encompassing the 2013-14 to 2016-17 campaigns.

DFL chief executive Christian Seifert said: “This process places tradition and innovation in balance with the necessity to secure economic growth and the future of professional German football at a top European level. Our goal is to further strengthen the institution of the Bundesliga – on the pitch, economically, and with a view to the millions of fans watching at home or in the stadiums.”

Interested parties who meet the admissions criteria are entitled to put in their tender bid providing they have handed in their complete documentation by April 19. The DFL plans to award the rights prior to the start of the Uefa Euro 2016 national team tournament, which commences in France on June 10.

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