Sky Deutschland ready for Bundesliga rights contest

German pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland has signalled its intention to remain the main rights-holder of the Bundesliga when the tender for the next rights contract to the top division of German football is launched.

A tender for the next cycle of Bundesliga rights, from 2017-18 to 2020-21, is expected to be opened by the middle of 2016.

Sky chief executive Carsten Schmidt told the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung newspaper he is confident in the broadcaster’s bargaining position, pointing to the financial muscle the company enjoys to invest in programming content.

He said: “We want to partner the Bundesliga and remain where we are today. For this, we will do everything we can.”

In April 2012, Sky held off competition from telco Deutsche Telekom to acquire the key pay-television and mobile rights packages to the Bundesliga from 2013-14 to 2016-17.

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

Commercial broadcaster RTL’s programme director Frank Hoffmann last week said it will explore a possible bid for the next cycle of domestic Bundesliga rights. RTL's interest has been stoked by impressive viewing figures for the broadcaster's coverage of the Germany national team's qualifiers for the Uefa Euro 2016 national team tournament.