With limited ways to bring in a windfall, Germany’s top soccer league hopes to start a bidding war on its media rights.
Bundesliga is soliciting bids for a minority stake in its overseas broadcast rights. The league could be in touch with as many as 30 investors this week.
“There is sure to be a lot of interest,” Doug Harmer, a partner at Oakwell Sports Advisory who is working with a potential bidder, told Bloomberg. “This is a well-run league from a fiscal perspective, but you would ask whether more could be done to make it a more international product.”
The league could use the cash. An estimate from December 2020 had the Bundesliga losing $1.21 billion in revenue in the 2020-21 season, compared to previous seasons.
- Deloitte estimated that the league brought in $1.86 billion in annual broadcasting revenue prior to the pandemic. The firm also calculated its international broadcasting rights to be worth $292 million per year, compared to the Premier League’s $1.94 billion and La Liga’s $1.09 billion.
- Bundesliga embraced the potential of new media in early February via a deal with Amazon Web Services in which the tech giant provides real-time stats, outcome predictions, and highlights for fans.
- In December, the league responded to its fiscal uncertainty by reconfiguring its distribution scheme to share broadcasting revenue more evenly among its clubs.
Advent International and BC Partners, no strangers to high-profile sports investments, have already been in touch regarding the overseas rights, and there has been speculation that Bain Capital, CVC Capital Partners, General Atlantic and KKR & Co. could get in on the action.