Monday December 4, 2023

German Leagues Lose Over $1B In Revenue

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The Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 have lost more than $1.1 billion in revenue since the pandemic started two years ago.

Sales for the 36 teams dropped 10.5% to nearly $4.5 billion during the 2020-21 season, with reduced ticket income and smaller media rights deals adding to the financial woes. Ticket sales fell roughly 95% compared to the last pre-pandemic season, according to the 2022 DFL Economic Report. 

Clubs also pay roughly $1.4 billion in “taxes and duties overall,” and the leagues’ workforce temporarily dropped by 50%. DFL — or German Football League — CEO Donata Hopften said “new avenues” will need to be explored to “make German professional football future-proof.”

Private Potential

Despite the heavy losses, DFL ended its talks last year with private equity firms in which the latter would purchase a minority stake in a company overseeing the league’s media rights, a deal similar to that of other European leagues.

  • Earlier this week, France’s Ligue de Football Professional struck a deal with CVC Capital Partners. The firm will take a 13% stake in the company facilitating the league’s media rights for roughly $1.6 billion.
  • CVC Capital Partners formerly entered a similar deal with La Liga for $2.3 billion.

If DFL was to go the private equity route, it would have to follow the “50+1 rule,” which prohibits commercial investors from holding more than 49% of any German club’s voting shares.

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