Bundesliga CEO Seifert reluctant to increase domestic pay-TV broadcasters

Bundesliga CEO Seifert reluctant to increase domestic pay-TV broadcasters
Christian Seifert, Chief Executive of the German Football League (DFL), has said he wants to avoid an excessive number of domestic pay-TV Bundesliga broadcasters when the top-flight soccer league’s next rights go to tender.

For the current cycle, running from 2017 through to 2021 and worth €4.6 billion (US$5.1 billion) per season, domestic Bundesliga pay-TV rights were initially snapped up by Sky Deutschland and Eurosport. The latter then sublicensed its rights to over-the-top (OTT) streaming service DAZN from the 2019/20 campaign.

Now, ahead of the new tender covering the 2021 to 2024 period, Seifert told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that the Bundesliga needed to be careful with the number of broadcasters it would look to do deals with or risk alienating consumers.

“If you need three subscriptions to fully consume the Bundesliga, that would, from our point of view, heavily strain the threshold of what is bearable,” he said.

“For decades people got all the matches live from one operator and then virtually immediately served up once again on the public-service Sportschau.

“Of course we know what we can expect of the viewers, and what not.”

Under the current rights agreement, Sky Deutschland broadcasts 266 exclusively live Bundesliga matches per season, while DAZN shows 40. Public-service broadcaster ZDF holds live rights for three non-exclusive games per season.

Sky and DAZN apparently remain interested in the upcoming tender, but could face competition from Deutsche Telekom. The telecommunications firm is looking to bolster its sports offering after acquiring the rights to UEFA Euro 2024, which is taking place in Germany, for its broadcast platforms; the linear Magenta TV and MagentaSport OTT service.

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