ZDF chief wants to retain Champions League coverage

ZDF director general Thomas Bellut has said that the German public-service broadcaster wants to retain live rights to the Uefa Champions League, the top club football competition in Europe, beyond the end of the current deal in 2015, according to the DWDL news website.

“I want the Champions League to stay on the channel,” he said. “It has enormous value.”

ZDF acquired rights for the tournament in a deal covering three seasons, from 2012-13 to 2014-15. The broadcaster was criticised by some who questioned the use of public money to acquire the rights in an agreement worth about €54 million ($70.2 million) per year with the Team Marketing agency.

However, the report added that Bellut has been buoyed by impressive viewing figures this season, with live coverage of last week’s game between Spanish team Malaga and German side Borussia Dortmund attracting more than nine million viewers.