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Bundesliga hoping to compete with Premier League and co by exploring €2bn media rights deal

Bundesliga have been exploring a media rights deal for a partial sell-off of their TV income, reports The Athletic.

The German top flight are many years behind the Premier League and other top European leagues regarding finances.

The Bundesliga lose their best players to the English top-flight, La Liga and co due to the gulf.

The Premier League is the richest in the world, primarily due to increased interest from broadcasters, sponsors and investors.

The Bundesliga are hoping to follow that model and want to set up a joint venture with an outside investor.

The investor would hold the media rights for the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, and four private equity firms are bidding to become the league’s partners.

The Bundesliga will receive €2 billion (£1.75bn) for a 12.5% share in the new company, with the agreement running for 20 years.

They hope to increase the league’s international competitiveness, as existing TV income of about €1.3bn per season has been flat for some time.

While the Premier League make €1.9bn per year from foreign rights alone, the Bundesliga rakes in just €200 million.

The German top flight want to bridge the gap and are hoping the €2bn and their expertise in marketing and growth generation will fetch more income.

La Liga and Ligue 1 have explored similar funding to save themselves from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The French top-flight sold 15% of their media rights to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for €1.5bn.

The same firm has also bought 8.25% of the Spanish TV rights for just under €2bn for 50 years.

Bundesliga are ready to follow suit and have already planned how to spend the money.

40% (€800m) of it will be kept back and spent centrally on digitalisation and making the league internationally appealing. Their plans include the setting up of a dedicated streaming channel.

45% (€900m) is earmarked for infrastructure – stadiums, club training centres, academies – and the remaining 15% (€300m) can be spent at the discretion of the clubs.

The Bundesliga needs to take drastic measures to start challenging their European counterparts.

Bayern Munich are the only club capable of matching the spending power of clubs in England and Spain.

They are fifth in the list of the top 10 richest clubs in the world and are the only Bundesliga side on it.

They are the tenth most valuable sports team in the world, with two La Liga clubs, five Premier League clubs and Paris Saint-Germain making the top 50.

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