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  Licensing, Content, Pay TV

  Discovery Communications, Sky, Sky Deutschland

Bundesliga domestic TV rights top €1bn for the first time

As Ampere predicted (Sky's the limit in Bundesliga bonanza), this year's German Bundesliga TV rights auction became the most valuable in league history, crossing the €1bn per season threshold for the first time. Over the four-year deal term the Bundesliga will gain €4.64bn, only slightly above our estimate of €4.4bn. This makes the Bundesliga the second most valuable soccer property, closing the gap on the Premier League. As expected, Sky retained the majority of the live rights, 93% of all live games. It was forced to pay a premium, however, spending a total of €876m, 80% above the previous deal for effectively less rights. Discovery's Eurosport was able to gain the other live package of rights and will, for the first time, broadcast a small number of games on Friday, Sunday and Monday nights. In total, it will broadcast 40 games a season. If Eurosport is able to utilise these rights, a similar situation to the Premier League could emerge, where BT has become a growing challenger to Sky. Other packages awarded include the highlight packages for Saturday and Sunday games which went to ARD, and ZDF was able to acquire the live rights for free TV. The Perform Group picked up the Internet clip rights and Constantin's Sport1 gained the package which allows for secondary and tertiary viewing of live games. There are still two smaller free-to-air highlight packages to be awarded so we could see the value of the rights increase further, but this will most likely be a small amount.