The auction for the pay TV rights for German soccer is expected to close at the end of April with satellite operator Sky Deutschland and IPTV operator Deutsche Telekom the main favourites.
The first round of the Bundesliga auction takes place on April 2 followed by a second round with the results expected at the end of April or the start of May. The rights, which cover three seasons starting in 2013/2014 are being sold by the German Football Association (DFL), and three separate packages of rights will be made available for three distribution platforms. Some 16 bidders have registered for the bidding process including for the free-to-air rights.
Investment bank Morgan Stanley says that acquiring the Bundesliga rights is critical for Sky Deutschland.
“Retention of the Bundesliga broadcast and cable rights is essential for Sky Deutschland to maintain subscriber momentum and obtain renewal of banking facilities,” it notes. “If it lost the rights and failed to sign some sort of sublicensing deal, the outlook for Sky Deutschland would be bleak indeed. Circa 1m of its 3m subscribers have a Bundesliga package, and while movies and sport are important, the company regards this as its pivotal set of rights.”