The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s national competition regulator, is currently examining the conformity with competition law of the cooperation between Sky Deutschland and Perform (operator of the DAZN streaming service) for broadcasting the Champions League in Germany. In a tender conducted by UEFA in 2017, Sky acquired the broadcasting rights for all matches in the period between 2018 and 2021. Sky and DAZN subsequently divided the broadcasting rights amongst themselves. The Champions League has thus solely been broadcasted by Sky and DAZN since the beginning of the ongoing season 2018/2019.
Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: “The new season marks some changes for television viewers in Germany. Sky and DAZN are two major premium sports content providers in subscription television. We are examining when and in what form the cooperation between the two companies was established and whether the cooperation promotes competition in the interest of consumers or restricts it.”
As Germany’s leading pay-TV provider, Sky is potentially subject to particular restrictions under competition law when cooperating with competitors. The agreement between Sky Deutschland and Perform could contribute to further consolidation of Sky’s market position. Moreover, several matches of German and other clubs are now exclusively available OTT, and there is no more free TV broadcasting of Champions League live matches in Germany. Against that background, it has to be examined whether the cooperation restricts competition by object or by effect.
As a first step, the Bundeskartellamt will examine the facts of the case. For this purpose, it will request information from Sky, DAZN and other market players in order to investigate, inter alia, the precise sequence of events regarding the tender procedure for the broadcasting rights.