German Bundesliga to stay free-to-air
Jörn Krieger
Sunday, 15 November 2009 19:47

Germany’s soccer Bundesliga will remain on free-to-air TV, Tom Bender, managing director of federal soccer league Deutsche Fußball-Liga (DFL) confirmed to newspaper portal

The mixture of free-to-air and pay-TV has been tried and tested over previous years, he said, and DFL doesn’t want to give that up. “DFL could have given the Bundesliga almost completely over to pay-TV in 2005, but decided against it and relinquished around €150 million. We do profit from our extensive TV presence and with almost €500 million income from sponsoring we are the number 1 in Europe,” said Bender.

With its planned TV channel, which was licensed in September, DFL does not want to compete with ‘current events’ Bundesliga coverage offered by other channels, stressed Bender. “This channel is only about the past,” he said, adding that DFL had built up the largest digital soccer archive in the world over past years. “By the end of 2010 there will be 40,000 hours of digitalised soccer. It’s clear that we have to think about ways in which to use that, such as a digital channel. It would be a sensible addition to current programmes.”