Over at Seven, bringing cricketers in to replace the departing tennis players has been seen as one of TV's great recruiting coups. Seven desperately needed a summer sport, having lost its year-old Australian tennis franchise to Nine. Just who will come out of the swap on top won't be known for years. Maybe neither given the current dire situation in TV. Free-to-air FTA TV is fuelled by advertising dollars and the giant global digital players — such as Google and Facebook — are draining the limited Australian advertising pool at an alarming rate.
The increased relevance of stand-alone pure-sports OTT services e. Carving-out non-exclusive e.
FA Cup, Premier League streaming packages has been the approach chosen by many leagues, given the multitude of issues for streaming services when competing directly with legacy media companies for sports rights e. Although there will not a be an exclusive live rights package fully dedicated to only OTT players as observed in other sports leagues e.
FA Cup, Premier League , the DFL at least opened up the opportunity for digital-only players to distribute sought-after live content for the first time by reducing the number of distribution systems that must be served by any given rights holder to two out of four technologies i.
At the minimum, the DFL wants to ensure that at least one non-exclusive rights package is going to land with an OTT player given the specific packaging and tender guidelines. First and foremost, it will be about gathering first experiences in the OTT live streaming space with a potential major pay-off in the future.
Carving out additional rights packages, either consisting of fewer games or being exclusively dedicated to a specific distribution system e. In general, rights owners need a tremendous amount of market power to pull off this approach without facing too much backlash from existing rights holders who understandably fear at least some degree of cannibalization.
That is especially true if these additional rights packages are created during an ongoing rights cycle, resulting in rights constellations to which they did not originally sign up for.
The DFL. After all, the DFL seems to acknowledge that it is only reasonable to demand yet another increase in annual media rights fees if it provides respective buyers with a product in which consumers can be interested in. Among the Big-Five European football leagues, the EPL, in particular, was in the comfortable position to simply increase the supply of games, selling 32x more games per year for the next three-season period compared to the current rights cycle Similar developments have been observed across the NBA 1,x regular season games , NHL 1,x , and MLB 2,x , which have much more games per season in general, but have constantly been increasing their supply to broadcasters over recent years.
Amazon, on the other hand, will have to work with multiple simultaneously-played matches, splitting viewership and advertising consumption across multiple broadcasts.
Although the DFL is not going to the extremes like the Spanish LaLiga which has been pushing the envelope when it comes to the staggering of games and plays almost never two games at the same time across Saturdays and Sundays, the German league operator is obviously taking steps to maximize the time of live match coverage.
As a result, the Bundesliga, together with the 2. At least with regard to the domestic market, such move would have only had downside risks e.
As long as four to five games remain in that window, the Bundesliga will continue to punt on one of the most attractive overseas markets - bowing to the rather traditional fan culture and values of the German football landscape.
Finally, by stretching the matchday more aggressively across the weekend with ultimately up to six broadcast windows 1x Fridays, 2x Saturdays, x Sundays , the Bundesliga aims at increasing the average viewership of any one of these individual broadcast windows.
Keeping the total supply of live broadcasts at all x season games, a higher average TV viewership would then directly translate into a higher total audience delivery over the entire season - and the number of total eyeballs should have a direct impact on expected advertising revenues i.
All else equal, there should be a pretty good chance that the Bundesliga can increase the average TV viewership.
An increase in total audience delivery, however, should be a foregone conclusion, probably more than overcompensating for any potential decline in average viewerships. However, it will ultimately come down to the expected frontrunners i. Yes, we can.
I suggested splitting up the first and second division between different rights holders. Second, it could be an opportunity to build up a viable challenger for any incumbent holders of first-tier rights in the future, who are not ready for primetime just yet.
Instead, let new or less-established market entrants move up the ladder from long-tail think: second division to premium rights think: first division instead of putting the burden of immediately refinancing extremely expensive first-tier rights on them while lacking any brand awareness, profitable operations, and sufficiently-attractive content libraries to drive a significant amount subscriptions.
By bundling the first and second division together, the reality is that second divisions will always remain in the shadow of the top-flight domestic leagues.
Specifically, I would keep on eye on Deutsche Telekom. The integrated business model of the telecommunication company could provide additional benefits for the 2.
Bundesliga: Normally, second divisions are not really made for pay-TV due to its limited ability to drive subscriptions beyond a core target group that mostly consists of fans whose favorite team is playing in the respective league.
In this regard, the 2. In other words, anyone who wants to have access to the Bundesliga, has automatically to pay for and has access to all x matches of the second division as well. However, the main objective of telcos such as Deutsche Telekom is to provide additional incentives in form of differentiated content to become a Telekom-customer for its complete set of telecommunication services, not just a subscriber of its stand-alone OTT service here: Magenta Sport to consume the aforementioned content.
That also means that consumers who are already Telekom-customers could get free access to the 2. Bundesliga at least for a limited time which would greatly increase the access to and, therefore, visibility of the 2.
Second-tier sports media properties always face the inherent risk of losing relevance by living behind a paywall and these leagues have shown no willingness to trade revenues for increased free-to-air coverage in recent years.
Acquiring the 2. In other words, much more people could immediately have access to the 2. One potential downside for the clubs from the 2. Bundesliga would be that their counterparts from the first division could demand a higher share of total media rights revenues in wake of a clearer delineation between both divisions.
Bundesliga teams in terms of pure short-term economics compared to the current setting. After all, the 2.
Bundesliga would trade short-term revenues against more visibility, access. For decades, this construct was built around the live experience of sports, either in-stadium or at-home as appointment television. In order to protect the value of any live content, rights owners have been exceedingly protective of any highlight footage to give fans no incentive to skip the stadium visit or live television broadcast.
Although general wisdom starts to acknowledge that highlights beyond a very limited window immediately after the actual games i. It shows what the priorities or the incentive structure for executives of most of the leagues continue to be: People are driven by short-term results.