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Sigh of relief at Sky Deutschland

The news that Sky Deutschland has won the pay-TV broadcast rights for the 4 out of the 5 potential Bundesliga DFL football packages delivered a “strongly favourable outcome” for the broadcaster, observers agree.

Moreover, the structure of the auction, which awarded the 5th group of games to Eurosport, was seen as being very beneficial to Sky Deutschland despite the overall price paid.  Eurosport gets 1-2 live games per week.

Importantly, the other feared challenges (from the likes of Deutsch Telekom, Amazon, Vodafone/KDG failed to make much of an impact (Amazon has the ‘live’ web-audio rights), although the Perform Group does get delayed on-line clip rights, while Sport1 gained the right to screen 2nd and 3rd repeats of the Friday and Saturday matches to show on Sunday morning.

Overall, and with the minor packages included, Germany’s football league receives €4.6 billion in fees over the 4 years. Indeed, the financial gap between English football and Germany is now closer than ever. Sky and BT Sport’s combined bill for their 3-year rights totals £5.1 billion.

Sky Deutschland pays a record-breaking €876 million ($991m) per season for its games, which translates into 80 per cent inflation over its current costs – or said quickly – a shade under US$4 billion for the packages.

Germany’s passionate football fans can expect a commensurate rise in their subscription rates!

Deutsche Bank’s equity analysts summed up the result, saying: “We knew Sky could not win all rights. But retaining all but one of the live Bundesliga packages & adding second-division is a big positive. Major downside scenarios have been averted: DT or VoD mounting a BT-style offensive, release of the OTT package or surprise Youtube/Amazon entry. Eurosport looks a benign holder of the other package selling through Sky.”

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