Pokal rights retention sets ARD back €135m
ARD's acquisition of rights to the DFB Pokal, German soccer’s knockout clubs competition, is costing the German public-service broadcaster €135 million ($154 million), according to new figures that have emerged.
ARD, along with Sky Deutschland, the pay-TV broadcaster, retained their rights to the Pokal from 2019-20 to 2021-22 in a deal that was announced in April 2018, with Sport1, the Constantin Medien-owned sports broadcaster, and Axel Springer, the publishing group, coming on board as new rights-holders.
It has now emerged, in documents seen by German magazine Der Spiegel, that ARD is paying €135 million over the course of the contract to show nine live matches, including both semi-finals and the final, plus a highlights package and the women’s DFB Pokal each season.
ARD paid €127 million for the rights in the previous three-year contract, which ended last month after Bayern Munich's 3-0 victory over RB Leipzig.
From the 2019-20 campaign onwards, Sky will broadcast all 63 matches live each season in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, including exclusive live coverage of 50 games. It has also secured highlights clips from all matches to show on its digital channels and the free-to-air Sky Sport News HD channel.
Sport1 has landed rights to show four matches per season on its free-to-air channel, securing one game per round up until the quarter-finals, as well as rights to show highlights of all DFB Pokal games on the following day, while Axel Springer, the publisher of the popular Bild newspaper and website, bought a package of clips rights for digital platforms.
Fees paid by the other rights-holders have not been revealed, but Friedrich Curtius, the DFB’s general secretary, said at the time that the federation had generated a “significant increase” in the value of the domestic media rights through the agreements with the quartet.
ARD drew an average 9.96 million viewers for this year's Pokal final, equal to a share of 35.1 per cent.