German football: fans to benefit from broadcasting deal

Following an agreement between the Commission
and the Bundesliga, football fans are set to enjoy more access
to football via the internet and mobile phones.

The Commission has reached an agreement with the
German football association opening up the broadcasting
rights market for matches involving teams from the
country’s top two leagues. The move spells the end to
a Commission enquiry into the way media rights are sold
by the Bundesliga and will mean that broadcasting rights
will no longer be sold to a single broadcaster in one
package. In practical terms, as from the 2006-07 season,
fans can expect to look forward to more access to
football via the internet and video mobile phones.

“Top-class sport is crucial for encouraging the
growth of the new media. More live broadcasting rights
for the new media will benefit consumers, the media and
the clubs,” said Competition Commissioner Mario
Monti.

The Commission sees the following as improvements that
will kick in from the 2006-07 season:

  • Every match day the Bundesliga will offer at least
    90 minutes of live reporting with all highlights on the
    internet
  • Clubs will be able to market their home matches
    themselves once the final whistle has been blown
  • Clubs will be able to sell the rights to cover its
    home matches live to a mobile telephone
    operator  

This was the first time a new procedure, whereby
commitments can be legally binding, has been used. The
procedure is set out in competition regulation 1/2003. It
came into force on 1 May 2004, replacing the traditional
notification and exemption system. 

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