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US investment firm Sixth Street enters bidding war for Bundesliga media rights

United States investment company Sixth Street has entered the race to acquire Bundesliga media rights, as reported by the Financial Times.

The German Football League (DFL) has decided to sell a 25% stake in media rights to enhance the development of the Bundesliga and the second division.

Sixth Street is one of the six financial investors in talks to acquire a share of broadcasting rights.

However, the league will continue to persist with the 50+1 rule, meaning that any of the investors will not have any influence on the clubs in Germany.

The DFL is looking to generate income from television rights, as Bundesliga’s current numbers are far behind the Premier League.

A statement from DFL read: “The ‘Future Scenarios Working Group’ set up by the Executive Committee of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga eV has agreed on the main guidelines for the further development of German professional football and a possible strategic partnership at league level.

“In the next step, the Executive Committee of DFL eV and the Supervisory Board of DFL GmbH will deal with a corresponding overall concept for the AG.

“If the league committees follow the suggestion, management, committees and the working group will continue to develop the tendering process on this basis and will intensively involve all clubs in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 in the process.

“The working group’s proposal was preceded by a very intensive and constructive exchange with sometimes in-depth discussions – always under the premise of developing the best possible proposal in the interests of all 36 professional clubs.

“From the point of view of the AG – consisting of Jan-Christian Dreesen (FC Bayern Munich), Rüdiger Fritsch (SV Darmstadt 98) as well as the DFL managing directors Axel Hellmann (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Oliver Leki (Sport-Club Freiburg) – investments in sustainable Growth to develop the league and clubs while respecting the 50+1 rule.

“At the same time, efforts to tighten regulations on the international football market must be pushed. As a result, the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 should remain sportingly attractive top leagues with strong roots in society.”

From the point of view of the AG, central guidelines also apply to a possible strategic partnership. For example, this will not include a sale of shares in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 but a temporary minority interest in license revenue from exploiting media rights.

The sovereign rights and tasks of the DFL and the influence and participation rights of the clubs are fully preserved at all times.

Sixth Street had previously bought a 25% share of Barcelona’s television rights over the next 25 years.

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