|THE BUNDESLIGA FAQ 98/99 MAGAZINE / June 99|
|A short review and a look on the TV-Rights situation|
|(Click on 'The Bundesliga FAQ' for an index of the 2-monthly updates)|
|This is a part of of||THE BUNDESLIGA FAQ / BUNDESLIGA FAQ MAGAZINE|
|as a component of||THE SHOT THAT PASSED RIGHT THROUGH THE NET|
|How and on which channels are the matches broadcasted in Germany?||An introduction into the German TV market|
|How did the 18 Bundesliga clubs perform 1998/99?||A short review|
and on which channels are the matches broadcasted?
Posed one or two years ago this question might have had a quick answer. But the dynamic movement that has come into it requires a detailed introduction of the several agents with various interests, who run the game. Let's start in the close past...
has yet been organized by the German Football Association, the DFB. Such
the DFB also had negociated the TV rights for Bundesliga, the association
cup ('DFB-Pokal'), the matches of the German national team, and the European
cup matches with the exception of the Champions League which has been marketed
by the marketing agency TEAM for UEFA.
The Bundesliga also likes to
have the digital system installed. Bundesliga clubs want to artificially
cut access to matches on unristricted TV and later sell matches via pay-per-view
as an 'enlarged virtual stadium' (this of course already exists in any
live coverage, only that the clubs here do not ask for your money directly).
Today's situation has yet been
ensured by the fact that all rights have been sold as packages. A quasi
cartel consisting of the football side, the TV stations side, and
politics has guarantueed the absence of a free market. The argument of
the football side has been the community factor. All teams and the whole
football were wished to profit from the package selling. This would keep
lower teams competitive and Bundesliga more attractive.
So the contracts had been
nicely distributed to all the important players on the market: ARD/ZDF
had got the National team, the association cup and some meaningless European
(non-champions-league) cup matches, RTL (UFA/Bertelsmann) the Champions
League and some more important European cup matches and SAT1 the rest and
the 'free-TV' Bundesliga rights. The word 'free-TV' is misleading here.
The consumer pays the price indirectly via the price of the products advertised.
Then the following things happened:
The first thing that broke down was the European cup package selling after a German court decision. Now every clubs sells its own rights. Now more constellations are possible what does not necessarily mean an improvement for the viewer: Before already all matches (with one exception in the past) had been accessible via free-TV.
Bayern Munich and Borussia
Dortmund are among the big European clubs who have started to pressure
their interests against the associations. This has not only lead to an
enlarged Champions league format, it also has made a split among the Bundesliga
clubs more dramatic. Their only common goal is to be more independant from
the association DFB.
The pay-TV rights contract with 'Premiere'
seems to be tricky. Without the approval or knowledge of the clubs it contains
a passage after which the TV station has options until 2003. Whether stupidity
or personal 'ties' led to such a contract is unclear, the big clubs know
investigate how to get out of the contract to make a selling of individual
pay-TV rights possible.
A new combined contract until 2004 for Association cup matches and the National team with DFB will cost ARD/ZDF at least 350 million EURO, but both, the cup and the National team face constant pressure by the (big) clubs who like to see their players in matches from which they profit themselves.
Due to German football magazine 'Kicker' the European (non-champions-league) cups 1999/2000 have brought only 10 million EURO because of the early failures of the German teams. About the same sum has come in from the indoor season which is unlikely to have a bright future in the context of an increasing European program. The Champions League might have brought double of that.
'Kicker' reported that an average 0f 35% of the income of clubs is by TV (25% by merchandising, 23% by ticket sale, 10% shirt sponsoring). Probably this is not income but turnover. TV rights don't cause expenses like merchandising sale or organising of stadiums, so the TV rights sale should be more valuable as an income factor.
The future leaves a lot of
scenarios open. Murdoch could put up pressure on Kirch and establish
an own digital TV channel. Also he could let Kirch temporarily take part
at the football market which would mean a severe threat to UFA/Bertelsmann
But Kirch has the World Cup
rights in reserve and it will be hard to escape from the new era of virtual
road toll. The virtual stadium of the future will be smaller and more expensive
and still there will be the stooges paying a fifth of their monthly salary
to be in the stadium, to be part of the colorful atmosphere for the couch
potatoes at home, an effort for which they should get paid, not pay, witnessing
a kind of modern live theatre play, in which the actors swap the dresses
now before and after the matches, and receiving more for a quick color
and fan change at the end of the year than those poor guys will ever see
themselves in their entire lives.
did the 18 Bundesliga clubs perform 1998/2000?
Bayern Munich: Everything went perfect (apart from the Champions League final). The right players left (a lot less politics via media took place, a consequence from success and the individual players situations), the right players came (i.e. Jens Jeremies). The right coach came. The Bundesliga at whole did not seem too strong. And Bayern 1998/1999 became one of the most successful stories in Bundesliga history. Only the great Bayern of the early seventies have yet had a little edge in statistics. Bayern won 15 points ahead of Leverkusen. (qualified for Champions League)
Bayer Leverkusen: Almost 2 points per game tells they have been close to a champion-like team. But some inconsistent periods spoiled their ambitions. (qualified for Champions League)
Hertha BSC Berlin: Surprise team and growing stronger and stronger towards the end of the season. Second best team of the second half. Striker Michael Preets won the best scorers crown. (qualified for Champions League qualification round)
Borussia Dortmund: Although they disappointed in almost every away match they played successful at home and will return to the champions league. Their squad has been to big, considering there were not qualified for European action. It had been clear, some had to suffer. Among them was popular German midfielder Thomas Häßler, who hardly played. He will leave. (qualified for Champions League qualification round)
1.FC Kaiserslautern: Had a difficult year because of injuries. When it became obvious defending the title was impossible and the Champions League story was over, the team lost concentration and began to focus on club politics. Those weeks seem to hav costed Kaiserslautern a Champions League qualification spot. But two European club qualifications in a row for a promoted team are not too bad anyway. (qualified for UEFA cup)
VfL Wolfsburg: A candidate for relegation in the beginning Wolfsburg made it to the UEFA cup. Now with the backing of VW VfL wants to build a second Leverkusen (the team backed by Bayer). (qualified for UEFA cup)
Hamburger SV: After a sluggish first half, much more consolidated. Remarkable is the constant change of the player personal. (will take part in the Intertoto cup)
MSV Duisburg: After being close to the relegation zone, the noname team, based on a solid defense, has been 3rd best team of the second half. (will take part in the Intertoto cup)
Munich 1860: After finishing 4th after 17 weeks, they became the worst team of the second half. Will be joined by Thomas Haessler.
Schalke 04: An overaged team with several injuries could not live up to expectations but managed the situation when temporarily coming close to the relegation zone.
VfB Stuttgart: A completely different character as new coach for the same personal led to tensions in the first half and set up a difficult year. Changes in coaching did not bring change. Eventually rescued in last match.
SC Freiburg: The young team convinced by its attitude playing a more technical style despite fighting relegation. Rescued themselves in the last match.
Werder Bremen: A disappointing year introduced by an Intertotocup engagement which was blamed for an insufficient preparation. Anyway the team did not convince the entire season. Rescued themselves in week 33.
Hansa Rostock: A dramatic rescue in the last match, needing a victory and coming from behind to win away at Bochum. A very good performance in the last third after being sluggish before. Losing the best players to bigger clubs again.
Eintracht Frankfurt: A miraculous rescue in the last week after winning four consecutive matches. Leading 4:1 against Kaiserslautern 2 minutes from time, believing to have achieved the impossible, they heard from radio that Nuremberg and Rostock, both had just scored and they needed another goal. In a dramatic finish they scored the fifth in front of a frenzy crowd and survived. This most dramatic end in Bundesliga covered a partly mediocre performance especially after the winter break and leaves the future now seem wide open.
1.FC Nuremberg: Celebrated their rescue one week to early, thinking 3 points and 5 goals plus several clubs between them and Frankfurt might be enough. Hit the goal post in last minute and became relegated. (relegated)
VfL Bochum: The team with many injuries and some youngsters were talking UEFA Cup and suddenly experienced a dramatic slump incapable to stop it. (relegated)
Borussia Mönchengladbach: After a terrible first half Mönchengladbach earned good critics but was still not capable to convert play into goals or points. Many consider the downfall of one of the most exciting clubs of the seventies as a tragedy because of the seemingly limited comeback potential. (relegated)
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