Sky Deutschland gears up for Bundesliga rights auction

Sky Deutschland is in a “good” position to retain its rights to football’s Bundesliga, according to Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive of Sky and chairman of the German pay-television broadcaster’s supervisory board.

In April 2012, Sky held off competition from telecommunications firm Deutsche Telekom to acquire the key pay-television and mobile rights packages to the top division of German football for the period 2013-14 to 2016-17.

Sky acquired all live pay-television rights packages, including the IPTV rights which Telekom held in the previous cycle. Sky also acquired the mobile rights which Telekom had held.

An auction for the four seasons of the Bundesliga spanning 2017-18 to 2020-21 is expected by the middle of 2016. Darroch told German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung: “The Bundesliga is important for us. We will do our best and hopefully come back into play. We have an appetite for further investments.”

In November, UK pay-television broadcaster BSkyB announced it would be renamed Sky after completing a takeover of Sky Italia in Italy and acquiring a majority stake in Sky Deutschland.

The deal brought together the leading sports broadcasters in three of Europe’s four largest pay-television markets. Concerning the potential for further European expansion, Darroch added: “At present we have enough to do with the merger of the existing Sky business. But one thing is certain. If it appears lucrative, we will go into new markets.”