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DFL awards Sky, DAZN Bundesliga domestic rights from 2021-22

(Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images)

The German Football League (DFL) has awarded domestic live rights to the German Bundesliga, from 2021-22 to 2024-25, to pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland and OTT streaming service DAZN.

An announcement on the deals is expected later today (Monday). Reports suggest that incumbent Sky has picked up the bulk of the seven live rights packages from 2021-22, but co-incumbent DAZN has significantly increased the number of matches it will show at Sky’s expense.

Sky is thought to have acquired rights to 200 live matches per season, including all matches on Saturdays and midweek on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. DAZN has acquired 106 live Bundesliga matches per season, including all matches on Fridays and Sundays.

Under the current domestic rights contracts, from 2017-18 to 2020-21, Sky broadcasts 266 exclusive live Bundesliga matches per season.

DAZN currently has a short-term deal with the DFL, which allowed it to broadcast 10 matches after the 2019-20 season restarted following its Covid-19-related suspension. This follows a sublicensing agreement with Discovery-owned Eurosport, which acquired a 45-match package of rights in the 2017-21 cycle tender. Eurosport sublicensed these rights to DAZN, covering 2019-20 and 2020-21, as part of a wider agreement.

In response to the league’s prior suspension, Discovery has so far declined to pay any more fee instalments, citing a ‘special termination’ clause. This meant DAZN had to agree a direct deal with the DFL to broadcast the remainder of the matches it was due from Discovery.

Revenues from the DFL’s current domestic broadcasting agreements total €1.16bn ($1.28bn) per season. Initial reports in Germany have suggested that the value of the rights from 2021-22 will decrease.

Tender

The DFL sent out the 2021-25 tender document on March 17, and was given the green light to proceed with the sales process by the Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s federal cartel office, on March 20.

The league has expanded the scope of the licensed territories to also include Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and the South Tyrol province in Italy. In addition to regular-season Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga matches, the inventory also includes the DFL Supercup and the relegation play-offs.

The tender featured seven live packages (Packages A to G), as shown below. It is thought that Sky has won Packages A, B, C and G, with DAZN acquiring Package D.

The tender had specified a “no exclusive owner rule”, meaning that if a single pay-television buyer had acquired rights to packages A to D, then it would have had to share rights to two packages with an internet and mobile provider on a co-exclusive basis.

‘Konferenz’ programmes are the broadcasting of live action from various simultaneous matches in a single broadcast.