DFL Recommends Suspension of Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 until at Least 30 April Plus Tender for Media Rights Postponed
While soccer all of the globe is suspended because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some countries are slower and others faster to set deadlines. Here is the latest on what is happening in German soccer because of the Coronavirus COVID-19.
Statement on the Bundesliga on March 24 from DFL
In preparation for the Ordinary Assembly of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 on 31 March, the Executive Committee of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga today met in a video conference lasting several hours. Under consideration of the consequences of the coronavirus, possible scenarios and conceivable options for action were discussed. These will be further structured over the course of the week and then put to the Ordinary Assembly for discussion.
The Executive Committee is aware that all scenarios and options for action also depend on external factors, over which the DFL and clubs have no or only limited influence, including the further spread of the virus and political assessments of the situation. In this light, the Executive Committee will recommend towards the Ordinary Assembly a further suspension of match operations in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 until at least 30 April.
Given that some clubs are facing a potentially existence-threatening situation and because of the responsibility for an industry with 56,000 direct and indirect employees, the Ordinary Assembly on 16 March unanimously reiterated the objective of wanting to end the season by 30 June, so far as legally permissible as well as, of course, justifiable from a public health perspective.
In this regard, the DFL is currently working intensively on concepts to play matches at their assigned time – given the current situation – also without stadium spectators and with a minimum workforce in the areas of sport, general organization, and media. In contrast to amateur and mass sports or other leisure events, only staff working in the stadium as part of employment would be present on site.
In light of the current situation, the Executive Committee of the DFL has also decided to postpone the planned tender for media rights. Instead of the originally intended date in May, an allocation is planned from this June onwards. The Federal Cartel Office had given the DFL the go-ahead for the submitted marketing concept last Friday. It is the objective of the DFL to focus on meeting the current challenges first.
DFL publishes details of German-language media rights tender on March 3
- Focus on digital innovations and highest presentation quality of all Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 matches
Innovative program offerings based on a proven match schedule structure are the focus of the upcoming tender for the German-language media rights of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga. On Tuesday the DFL in Frankfurt explained in detail the content, procedure and decision-making process of the awarding of rights, which is expected to be completed by May of this year. The tender covers all Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 matches as well as the relegation play-offs and the Supercup for the 2021-22 to 2024-25 seasons. For the first time, usage rights will be tendered not only in Germany but also in Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and South Tyrol.
CORNERSTONES OF THE MEDIA RIGHTS TENDER 2020:
- Subject: Media utilization rights (audiovisual, audio, digital out of home)
- Matches: 617 matches per season of Bundesliga, Bundesliga 2, Relegation, Supercup
- Licence period: Four seasons from 2021/2022 until 2024/2025
- Territory: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg & South Tyrol
- Rights packages: 7 live rights packages and 7 highlight rights packages (audiovisual)
- Process: Open, transparent and non-discriminating tender
- Basis: Commitments of the DFL from antitrust proceedings pursuant to § 32b GWB1
While the match schedule is based on the proven kick-off times in addition to the already announced avoidance of Monday matches in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, the DFL is focusing on new standards in terms of presentation quality and digital distribution. Thus, 176 matches per season will be produced in UHD format; top matches with up to 26 cameras with regular use of aerial camera systems, drone, and corner flag cameras, for example.
In line with the changing media usage, the possibility of creating digital offerings is being comprehensively expanded and tailored to different needs. Video and audio “In-match Clips” can be distributed by purchasers of pay live packages while the game is still in progress. For the first time, pay highlight clips can be used directly after the final whistle, and highlight programs can be made available for the first time afterward on demand, for example as a media library offering. Up to three “free-clip packages” will allow licensees to offer on-demand video coverage from the Monday after each matchday. Another new feature of the tender is a “Digital out of Home” package for the use of video of the matches on outdoor advertising spaces.
Regarding the live coverage of Bundesliga matches, the focus is on four pay packages, all of which are valid for all relevant distribution technologies (“technology neutrality”). This means that the respective acquirer is entitled to broadcast the content via satellite, cable/IPTV, web TV, and mobile TV. The pay packages essentially comprise the following: the conference of the parallel matches on Saturday afternoon (package A), all single matches on Saturday afternoon (package B), the top match on Saturday evening (package C) and the single matches on Friday and Sunday (package D). If the same licensee acquires all four of these pay live packages, two of them will be awarded to a second provider for co-exclusive utilization via web and mobile TV. The DFL will announce which two packages will involve in a timely manner before the auction begins. The following also applies: At least one of the four packages must also be utilized via cable and/or satellite.
Source: Press Release