Germany’s federal cartel office has approved plans to stop any single buyer from owning all the live TV rights for Bundesliga football matches for four seasons starting in 2017. The watchdog declared it would be sufficient if the rights to show between 30 and 102 top flight matches out of a total of 306 available were awarded to an alternative buyer.
“For us it is important that the rules ensure that more than one bidder wins the rights. As long as only one party holds the live rights there is a risk that innovation, especially in the Internet-based offering, is limited,” commented Andreas Mundt, the head of the competition watchdog.
Sky Deutschland, which paid €2.5 billion virtually all live broadcasting rights in the last auction in 2012, will now certainly not be able to repeat that level of success in the next one, which is expected to be held before June.