Football bodies say business as usual in wake of ECJ ruling
October 7, 2011

Football bodies UEFA and the German Football Association (DFB) have said they will not change the way they do business with broadcasters in the wake of the European Court of Justice ruling that allows viewers to buy foreign smartcards and decoders to view international providers’ broadcasts of domestic matches.

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino was quoted in the Financial Times Deutschland as saying he did not believe the ruling would have a major impact on the way UEFA sold its rights. He said that the organisation would continue to do deals on a country-by-country basis. Although he did not believe the judgement would have a significant impact, Infantino was critical of the ECJ ruling, arguing that the value of the English Premier League was not the same in Greece as it was in England.

In Germany, the German Football Association (DFB) has already decided to award rights to the DFB Cup on a national territory basis. General secretary Wolfgang Niersbach told the DPA news agency that the organisation would not sell Europe-wide rights to the competition.

UEFA has meanwhile awarded the Portuguese rights for the UEFA Champions League from 2015-15 to commercial broadcaster TVI and pay TV channel Sport TV, with the latter broadcasting a minimum of four matches each day. The rights were awarded for mobile and internet distribution as well as TV.