Sky Deutschland CEO holds out partnership offer

Sky Deutschland CEO Brian Sullivan has held out the prospect of a partnership with Deutsche Telekom over sports rights in a bid to avoid a potentially damaging bidding war for the next round of Bundesliga football rights.

In an interview with the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper, Sullivan said that any party interested in the rights had the option of a partnership.

Sullivan said that a successful pay TV service had to appeal to all members of a household, not just football fans. While Sky offers a range of sports in its programming line-up, Deutsche Telekom has thus far focused on football only. Sullivan said that under a partnership agreement, Deutsche Telekom could have the option to market all of Sky’s content to its subscribers and share revenue.

Sky currently pays about €250 million a season for Bundesliga rights, while Deutsche Telekom pays about €25 million for a separate package of IPTV rights.