German football deal faces collapse

The €3 billion television deal to show German football on premium TV is on the verge of collapse. The Bundeskartelamt, the German cartel office, said on Thursday that the central marketing model put forward by the German Football League (DFL) prevents clubs from reaching individual media deals and is effectively a price cartel.

The move puts in jeopardy an agreement between the DFL and media mogul Leo Kirch’s subsidiary Sirius to market the rights to Bundesliga matches from 2009 for a period of five years. Kirch’s group had pledged to pay €500 million per season from 2009/2010 for the rights.

One of the main complaints centres around the availability of the free-to-air showing of highlights. Under the current agreement there are not enough safeguards that viewers will have access to them.