Bundesliga suspends TV Rights tender amid DAZN allegations of bias

Bundesliga suspends TV Rights tender amid DAZN allegations of bias | Credits: IMAGO

Bundesliga suspends TV Rights tender amid DAZN allegations of bias

David Ben 17:11 - 21.04.2024

DAZN reportedly accused Bundesliga of rejecting the 'most financially attractive' offer.

The Bundesliga's highly anticipated tender for TV rights has taken an unexpected turn.

This past week, German outlet, BILD, reports that the tender has been shrouded in controversy and accusations.

The league has invited bids for the next four-year domestic rights cycle beginning with the 2025/26 season.

Bundesliga TV Rights controversy
Credit: Getty Images

Bundesliga’s current contract with Sky and DAZN is worth an average €1.1 billion (US$1.17 billion) per season, and expires at the end of the 2024/25 campaign.

DAZN, a prominent broadcaster in the sports media landscape, has reportedly thrown the process into disarray by accusing the league of bias and unfair practices.

DAZN’s accusation comes after their offer for rights package B was allegedly rejected by the league, a move that the company claims is unusual given its purportedly superior financial terms.

DAZN's allegations halt Bundesliga TV Rights auction

DAZN Bundesliga
Credit: Front Office Sports

In a bold move, DAZN has reportedly lodged a formal complaint not only with the DFL but also with all 36 clubs in German football top tier leagues.

The complaint expressed their objection to the sales process amid concerns there is already a predetermined outcome favoring another bidder.

‘We were led to believe that our financial offer was significantly higher than any other offer,’ DAZN said in the letter, as per the aforementioned outlet.

’We have no other explanation for this uneconomic behaviour than that the DFL management had already anticipated the result in order to illegally award rights package B to its preferred bidder and deprive the member clubs of their share of the additional income from DAZN to make an offer without conducting another round of bidding.’

DAZN's Chief Executive, Shay Segev, also expressed disappointment over the rejection, lamenting the lack of transparency in the decision-making process.

However, the DFL has also denied these allegations, asserting that DAZN's claims are unfounded and that the integrity of the bidding process remains intact.

Despite the league's denials, the suspension of the tender has cast a shadow over the future of Bundesliga TV rights negotiations, with major stakeholders left to wait on further developments.