Sky Deutschland secures Bundesliga soccer

Deutsche Telekom loses IPTV rights

BERLIN — Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Deutschland on Tuesday secured lucrative pay TV as well as increasingly significant Internet rights to live top league German soccer for the next five years.

The news of the deal sent Sky’s share price soaring by some 20% on Tuesday to $3.28 before settling at $2.98.

Sky’s pact with the German Soccer League (DFL) includes a four-year agreement for all live first and second division Bundesliga matches from 2013 to 2017. The News Corp.-owned feevee operator will pay an average of Euros 485.7 million ($638 million) per season — nearly double what it previously paid. The pact includes exclusive live pay TV rights for all platforms — satellite, cable, Internet, IPTV and mobile — to the 612 matches per season.

While Sky offers high-profile films and TV series, soccer remains the major attraction for its subscribers and the platform’s most vital asset.

Sky’s gain means a major loss for German telco giant Deutsche Telekom, which currently controls Internet rights to Germany’s favorite sport, making it a key component in the marketing of its IPTV service.

For the DFL and its 36 soccer clubs, the sale of domestic rights resulted in an increase of around 50% per season from 2013 through 2017 for a total of $3.3 billion in revenue plus an additional $95 million from international rights sales.

In its first step into soccer rights, publishing giant Axel Springer, which owns Germany’s leading tabloid Bild, acquired exclusive match highlights, which it can offer to paying customers one hour after the match. Pubcaster ARD will continue to show game summaries and highlights on its weekend sports show “Sportschau” as well as seven live free TV matches per season.

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