As if an all German UEFA Champions league final in 2013 was not enough to prove that the Bundesliga is a global powerhouse to be reckoned with, we can now add a global television broadcasting rights deal as the cherry on top. The Bundesliga announced a 5-year deal with 21st Century Fox on Monday that will begin starting with the 2015-16 season and will include ‘every country in north and Latin America, a majority of countries in Asia including Japan, as well as selected European territories’, Reuters reported.
German football league (DFL) CEO, Christian Seifert, said in a statement,
These deals underline the fact that the Bundesliga has been recognized as a top media right in the sports business world. The collaboration with global partner 21st Century Fox gives German professional football new chances for wide global reach and growth in the near future…We welcome these agreements as an expression of faith in the Bundesliga’s continued development over the coming years.
The deal gives 21st Century Fox rights to all 306 Bundesliga season matches, the DFL Supercup, and the Bundesliga relegation playoff matches. Additionally, the deal grants Fox access to digital distribution rights, which includes mobile and and online television platforms in the contracted territories.21st Century Fox deputy COO, James Murdoch, stated that,
The Bundesliga has, on and off the pitch, developed into a leading global football league. We look forward to working with the DFL and will use our unique offer of sports broadcasters to attract an even bigger global audience to the Bundesliga.
According to Reuters, the Bundesliga earns approximately €70 million ($94.9 million) in international broadcasting revenue annually, which accounts for about 12% of its total €546.2 million ($738.8 million) annual media revenue (Bundesliga Report 2013). Though no financial details concerning this latest announcement have been made available as of yet, Siefert has targeted international broadcasting revenues to be somewhere between €100-150 million for the next rights period, which will include the Fox deal along with several others.
For a closer look at the Bundesliga and its financial breakdown, read Bundesliga 101: Financial Prudence Breeds On The Pitch Success.
Though the Bundesliga is on the right track with this new deal with Fox, it still has some work to do before it can keep pace with the kind of broadcasting revenues brought in by the richest league in the world, the Premier League in England, which over the next three years is expected to bring in over £5.5 billion ($8.8 million). Italy’s top flight, Serie A, is also rumored to be working on closing in on approximately €900 million ($1.2 billion) in broadcasting revenues with some new deals lined up, reported Reuters. The Bundesliga is not as reliant on media revenues, however, as the other top leagues, which allow it to take some risks in that space that perhaps the others could not afford. With technology advancing at exponential rates, the definition of “broadcasting” could be completely reshaped in the near future and the Bundesliga should be well positioned to take advantage of if they can get out ahead of the other leagues.
The Bundesliga has been on a very pronounced rise in recent years, and this deal is yet another signal to other world elite leagues that they are here to stay.