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MEMO/05/16

Brussels, 19th January 2005

Details of broadcasting rights commitments made by the German Football League

The commitments given by the German Football League (‘Ligaverband’) regarding the central marketing of the media rights of the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga from now until June 2009, rendered legally binding by a formal decision adopted by the European Commission on 19th January 2005 (see IP/05/62), are as follows:

  1. The league rights are offered in several packages in a transparent, non-discriminatory procedure. Agreements concluded with the agents and sublicense holders will not exceed three seasons.
  2. Live broadcasts of the Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga are offered by the League in particular in two packages, available to both for free TV and for pay TV programme suppliers. A third package entitles the buyer to broadcast deferred highlights on free TV, and also to live broadcasts of at least two Bundesliga matches. A fourth package covers live games of the 2. Bundesliga and the rights to deferred highlights on free TV. A fifth package offers rights to second or third showings of the matches in full or in highlights form. Package 6 contains the right to broadcast Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga matches live and/or near-live on the Internet. From 1 July 2006, the package contains the right to broadcast the matches live and near-live. The League Association will, on every day on which games are held, offer a total of at least 90 minutes live coverage of the matches on the Internet, e.g. in the form of a conference channel. Coverage per game will not be less than five minutes and will contain all important match events, e.g. goals and penalty kicks. A seventh package comprises deferred highlights coverage on the Internet. Package 8 contains the right to broadcast Bundesliga and/or 2. Bundesliga matches live and/or near-live and/or after the event on mobile phones. Package 9 confers the right to the deferred broadcast of excerpts from Bundesliga and/or 2. Bundesliga matches on mobile phones. Every club can sell its home games to a free-TV broadcaster 24 hours after the match for one-off free-TV broadcasting of up to the full match within the EEA.
  3. One and a half hours after the end of a match, every club can exploit a summary of its home and away games of up to 30 minutes on the Internet. From 1 July 2006, immediately after the end of the match every club can cover its home and away games on its homepage or that of a third party without restriction as to length.
  4. Every club can sell the coverage of its home games on mobile phone networks within the EEA to the operators of those networks.
  5. The above-mentioned club rights may not be sold in such a way that a product can be devised by a buyer which clashes with the interests of the DFB and the League Association or the acquirers of packages 1 to 9 in having a uniform product and jeopardises the advantages of branding and the one-stop shop.
  6. Unused rights may be exploited by the clubs. However, the League Association remains entitled to parallel, non-exclusive marketing of the corresponding package. This applies when the Association has failed to sell certain rights covered by the joint selling procedure: If, 14 days after the first match day of the football year, no agreement with a purchaser is reached about one of the above mentioned packages in accordance with the rights defined therein, the clubs may, from that time until the end of the season, exploit their home games themselves in accordance with the rights covered by the unused exploitation package. Clubs are also entitled to sell rights where the holder of those rights, for no objective reason, fails to use them.
  7. The changes relating to television and, as set out, partly relating to the Internet, will enter into force on 1 July 2006. All other changes apply from 1 July 2004. The transitional stage ensures that the arrangements are brought into line with the competition rules without jeopardising the operation of the Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga.
  8. The competition implications of future licence agreements are not covered by the present commitments decision. A separate examination under Community law cannot be ruled out, in particular if more than one centrally marketed package with exclusive exploitation rights is acquired by one

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