German broadcasters compete for football production

By Robert Briel | April 20, 2009

Two German broadcasters, Deutsche Sport-Fernsehen (DSF) and Spiegel TV, are competing with Premiere to win the production contract for the IPTV coverage of Bundesliga football for Deutsche Telekom.

According to a report in today’s Die Welt newspaper, Deutsche Telekom will announce this Thursday in Berlin who will win the contract. Until now Deutsche Telekom bought the feed from Premiere, but the telecom operator is looking for a provider that can better serve the Telekom audience both on IPTV and on mobile.

Deutsche Telekom owns the rights for the Bundesliga seasons up to and including the 2012/13 season. According to unconfirmed reports, it pays €20 million per season.
As Deutsche Telecom has no broadcasting licence, it is required to partner with a broadcaster for an editorially independent production. Last January, Telekom put out a tender.

From seven candidates, there are now three parties in the final round. Because Premiere owns the Bundesliga broadcast rights for pay television, it could deliver the signal at an attractive price. But the cost is that current coverage comes with the Premiere brand rather than with a Deutsche Telekom stamp on it. “Our consumers do not have the feeling they receive a Telecom,” said a Telecom manager to the newspaper.

Beginning with the 2009/10 Bundesliga season, the online rights to the games have been divided in two products: Deutsche Telekom now owns the rights to the IPTV distribution via its T-Entertain product, while Premiere owns the streaming rights on the open internet.
Deutsche Telekom said it had reached 500,000 IPTV customers at the end of 2008.