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DFL unveils proposed Bundesliga domestic rights packages as tender nears

Holger Blask, director of audio-visual rights at the Deutsche Fußball Liga has laid out the proposed packages for the upcoming 2021-22 to 2024-25 domestic media rights invitation to tender for Germany’s Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga.

Speaking at the Spobis conference in Düsseldorf, Blask highlighted minor changes between the upcoming tender and the previous tender, which was held in 2016.

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.

The proposed packages are awaiting approval from Germany’s federal cartel office, the Bundeskartellamt, and are not yet final. Blask said that it is hoped that the tender will be announced at the end of February with preparations almost complete. The DFL’s aim then is to get the sales process “over the line in May”.

In the 2017-18 to 2020-21 tender, there were eight live packages and seven highlights packages for the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga. This included seven live pay-television packages and one live free-to-air package.

The DFL currently earn €1.16bn ($1.29bn) 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 streaming service DAZN broadcasts 40 matches. 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).

Blask also flagged up the extended digital possibilities within the latest ITT and also cited a 26-camera production for matches, including drone cameras, plus 170 matches offered in ultra high-definition.

(additional reporting by Martin Ross)