Uncertainty remains over German TV rights to additional Nations League matches

Following on from format changes to Uefa’s Nations League in the 2020-21 tournament, there is ongoing uncertainty in Germany over the broadcast home of two additional matches that the national team will play.

The Uefa Executive Committee met in September last year and took the decision to alter the league structure of the group stages of the tournament, including the switch from three-team to four-team groups in League A.

This means that the German national team, like all other League A and League B sides, will now play a guaranteed six group-stage matches, rather than the four it played in the 2018-19 tournament.

It is thought that Uefa has yet to define whether the rights will be automatically be awarded to public-service broadcasters ARD and ZDF, which both initially acquired rights to what was then all matches involving the German national team in the 2018-19 and 2020-21 tournaments.

Reports in Germany suggest that commercial broadcaster RTL is interested in the additional two matches, but any interest could be irrelevant dependent on Uefa’s decision and discussions with ARD and ZDF. It has been claimed that RTL is willing to offer rights to two Germany friendlies as part of any deal.

The allocation of the two additional games remains “open”, according to Sport Bild. RTL holds rights to 28 Germany national team matches – 20 European qualifiers and eight friendlies – in a four-season deal with Uefa, from 2018-19 to 2021-22.

ARD and ZDF announced their rights agreement as covering a total of 12 Germany matches in the Nations League in 2018-19 and 2020-21. However, it is not known if this total included potential Final Four semi-final and final matches featuring Germany (the national team did not qualify for the inaugural Final Four).

All rights deals were struck on behalf of Uefa by CAA Eleven, its sales agent for its national-team competition rights. DAZN, the OTT subscription platform, holds third-party rights to Nations League matches not involving Germany.

There are 14 groups in the upcoming 2020-21 tournament, of which only one (League D2) will comprise three teams in. In the 2018-19 tournament there was 16 groups, including nine pools comprised of three teams.