Update Premiere loses Telekom’s Bundesliga contract -
Premiere loses Telekom’s Bundesliga contract
German media group Constantin Medien will produce the live coverage of Germany’s soccer league Bundesliga for Deutsche Telekom. The material will be distributed on the telco’s IPTV platform T-Home Entertain and by its mobile network subsidiary T-Mobile.
The contract, financial details of which were not revealed, covers the four seasons from 2009 until 2013. The switch to Constantin Medien is a bitter blow for pay-TV operator Premiere, which until now produced the Bundesliga coverage for Telekom. According to industry sources, the contract was worth around €20 million per year to the Munich-based broadcaster. At the same time, Premiere loses its exclusivity in live coverage of the Bundesliga on pay-TV.
Constantin Medien will operate a Bundesliga channel for Telekom on which all 612 matches of the league’s 1st and 2nd division will be transmitted live per season. The commercial-free offer, dubbed LIGA total! and transmitted entirely in high definition (HDTV), will be accompanied by a video-on demand service offering highlights 30 minutes after the end of each match. Additionally, interactive applications such as live news updates and goal statistics will be available. The service will be launched at the beginning of the new Bundesliga season on August 7, with prices still to be fixed.
Rainer Hüther, vice-chairman of Constantin Medien, stressed that the company will give an “independent and distinctive face” to the Bundesliga coverage. “With many innovative functions on the IPTV and mobile phone platforms we will offer viewers real added value.”
Industry insiders surmise that with the separation from Premiere, Telekom wants to give its Bundesliga offer an independent profile which will attract more notice from soccer fans. Until now, the company re-distributed Premiere’s Bundesliga coverage, which is also available via cable and satellite, and therefore was not able to offer any real incentive for IPTV.
T-Home Entertain can be received by around 20 million households on Telekom’s broadband networks using the technologies ADSL2+ and VDSL. At the end of 2008 Telekom had around 500,000 IPTV customers, with a million expected by year-end.
Through Constantin Medien Leo Kirch is also once again involved in the Bundesliga. Via his company KF15, which holds 25.85%, Kirch is the Munich-based media group’s largest single shareholder. Sports channel DSF, productions company Plazamedia, film producer Constantin Film, sport rights dealer Team, web portal Sport1 and creative agency Creation Club belong to the Constantin Medien group.