On 11 April 2016, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO)
announced that the German League Association
(Ligaverband) and the German Football League (Deutsche
Fußball Liga, DFL) have committed that no single pay-TV
buyer can win exclusive live broadcasting rights to Bundesliga
league games for the 2017/2018–2020/2021 seasons. The FCO
made this "No Single Buyer" rule a precondition to
green-light the proposed tendering model for broadcasting rights.
Currently Sky Deutschland holds all domestic live broadcasting
rights for Germany's top football leagues until the end of the
2016/2017 season, having won the last tender in 2012.
Sources say that the DFL opposed the "No Single Buyer"
rule, but the FCO stood firm in this effort to foster competition.
FCO president Andreas Mundt voiced concerns that, as long as there
was only one holder of live rights in the market, innovative
competition—especially from internet-based
broadcasters—might be restricted.
The DFL will be inviting tenders for 17 different audiovisual
media rights packages, eight of which concern domestic live
broadcasting. The tendering model sets forth that if one bidder
acquires all live broadcasting rights packages to the Bundesliga
games, an over-the-top (OTT) package will be offered. This OTT
package will include the rights for live transmissions of three
games per match day (one on Saturday, two on Sunday), but only via
the web and the mobile web. So:
either the rights to transmit Bundesliga live games across all
technologies—satellite, DTT (digital terrestrial
transmission), cable/IPTV (Internet Protocol Television), web and
mobile web—are allocated among different providers
or, in case of a single buyer of all live packages, one third
of the games can be watched via web and mobile-web streaming on a
second provider's platform.
If the live packages were divided among different providers,
consumers would not necessarily need to subscribe to more than one
pay-TV service to view all of the games. A single provider could
still offer all live broadcasts by sublicensing any rights it did
not win itself.
The DFL said on its website that it aims to conclude the auction
of Bundesliga live broadcasting rights for the
2017/2018–2020/2021 seasons in early June 2016, before the
start of the Euro 2016 football tournament. Experts expect the DFL
to generate 1.1–1.5 billion euros per season from the
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