ARD criticises Bundesliga plans

Jörn Krieger ©RapidTVNews | 15-01-2012

German public broadcaster ARD has criticised that decision by the cartel office Bundeskartellamt to give the green light to national football association Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) to offer a free-to-air package.

The proposed offering would deliver games highlights for internet and mobile distribution which would push back the transmission on conventional television to 21.45 CET. Yet the decision would not be in viewers' interest, complained ARD's general director Monika Piel in Cologne."It contains the danger that DFL could exclude a large number of the audience through first broadcasting Bundesliga images on the net. Especially in rural areas, for many people the internet is not a replacement for conventional television as the necessary reception possibilities for web-TV are lacking."
On 13 January 2012, the cartel office approved DFL's plans to offer two scenarios for the tender of the free-to-air highlight rights of the Bundesliga games on main match day Saturday from the 2013/14 season.
The first package comprises the highlights to be shown from 18.30 CET on conventional television, as it is currently the case. In the second package, the first coverage would be on internet TV and mobile TV and only from 21.45 CET on conventional television. This would effectively put an end to public broadcaster ARD's popular sports programme Sportschau in its current shape, which has traditionally been showing the first Bundesliga images on free-to-air television.