June 22 – The Bundesliga has become the first major European league to negotiate a new TV rights deal in the coronavirus age. While the new deal shows a reduction on the previous broadcast money achieved, it nevertheless suggests that there is still some life left in the market.
The economic fallout of the health crisis and a limited number of bidders chasing the rights saw a drop from the record 2016 deal of €4.64 billion to €4.3 billion for the 2021-25 cycle.
A fortnight ago, the Frankfurter Allgemeine reported that the DFL had tempered their expectations over the new rights deal because of the Covid-19 pandemic. At present, the DFL is still embroiled in a dispute with Discovery over its current broadcasting contract. Eurosport – owned by Discovery – wants to exercise a ‘special termination’ clause in its contract that would allow it to get out of its €70 million sub-licensing deal with DAZN for 45 Bundesliga matches per season.
Despite this DAZN, alongside Sky, will remain be the two main players in Germany for the next cycle, though both organisations face financial problems with Sky expected to introduce austerity measures and DAZN seeking new investors to offset its giant rights spending in various territories.
DAZN has struggled to capture enough subscriptions for its steaming service, but will keep betting big in Germany with Bundesliga broadcasts on Friday nights and Sunday in the next cycle. From 2021, DAZN also holds the rights for the Champions League in Germany.
Sky will broadcast the Saturday marquee game, but just six games overall per week, down from the current eight. Deutsche Telekom and Amazon had also been expected to make competitive bids.
Last year, Christian Seifert said that he expected Germany’s football rights to keep soaring, but in the current context the Bundesliga will count itself lucky that the market has remained relative stable.
An official announcement on the rights is expected from the Bundesliga today.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1601536027labto1601536027ofdlr1601536027owedi1601536027sni@o1601536027fni1601536027