19 bidders for Bundesliga rights

Interest in the domestic TV rights for Germany’s soccer Bundesliga from the 2009/10 season has been lower than expected, with 19 offers made before the deadline for the tender expired on Friday, said Deutsche Fußball Liga’s (DFL) president Reinhard Rauball, without revealing further details.

At the beginning of the tender at the end of October, DFL said that 39 parties had registered as bidders. On offer are 37 packages for distribution via cable, satellite, IPTV, mobile services and web-TV. A highlights compilation of Saturday’s matches will continue to be screened from 18:30 CET on free-to-air television.

So far only public broadcaster ARD and pay-TV operator Premiere have confirmed that they have taken part in the bidding. Further interested parties are believed to include TV broadcasters ZDF, RTL, Sat.1, DSF and Eurosport, cable operators Kabel Deutschland and Unitymedia as well as Walt Disney, which could use the Bundesliga to promote and establish a German version of its sports channel ESPN.

DFL hopes to achieve at least as much for this tender as its current income of around €410 million per season.