Vodafone retreats from Bundesliga tender

Jörn Krieger ©RapidTVNews| 26-02-2012

Vodafone has pulled out of the bidding battle for the domestic TV rights for Germany's national football league Bundesliga. "Following thorough evaluation, we have decided not to act as a strategic bidder," Friedrich Joussen, CEO of Vodafone Germany, told German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche.

According to Joussen, the purchase of the live coverage rights of the games would not lead to a crucial growth push for its IPTV platform Vodafone TV. "We are not dependent on football to also become strong in the TV business."
Joussen considers the value of the football rights to be considerably overrated anyway. "There is a far spread misbelief." No market player in Germany would currently achieve a profit with the aquisition of the football rights, he said, not even pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland.
Joussen: "Just make a calculation: A three-digit million euro amount for the live coverage rights spread accross one, two or three million pay-TV subscribrs. As the result, you will see deeply read figures: The football rights are much too expensive to be refinanced with all costs involved."
Instead, Joussen wants to focus on the 36 million households in Germay for which football is not so important. "We have therefore signed contracts with practically all large Hollywood studios."
However, Vodafone still intends provide its more than 100,000 TV customers a Bundesliga offering. Following the tender, Joussen wants to negotiate with the rights buyers about a collaboration.