Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert, who revealed record revenues, said that German football will avoid the "ceiling" for media rights deals hit by the Premier League, according to Murad Ahmed of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Seifert said that German broadcasters and digital groups were "ready to spend greater sums" to screen matches for the top division, whose revenues from media rights deals "jumped" by a third last year to €1.25B, boosted by the start of a four-year, €4.6B domestic TV deal with Sky Deutschland and Eurosport. Seifert: "When you look not only to England, but Italy, Spain, France, [the value of domestic screening rights deals] ... get a little bit closer to the ceiling. The German pay-TV market still has a lot of room to grow." The '02 collapse of German media empire Kirch Group, "in part due to debts associated with sports rights contracts," has made local broadcasters "resistant to paying large sums for live sport," Seifert said. As the chase for pay-TV subscribers heats up in Germany, "that reluctance is fading" (FT, 2/13).
Tuesday's Champions League match between ManU and Paris St. Germain, which PSG won 2-0, was “illegally streamed” on the Parisian club’s official Facebook page in France, according to L’ÉQUIPE. The stream “surprised many” considering RMC Sport pays €350M ($395M) per year to exclusively broadcast the Champions League and Europa League in France. More than 1.4 million people reportedly watched the match on Facebook. The stream originated from Brazilian broadcaster Esporte Interativo, which showed the match through Facebook Watch. RMC Sport is “questioning” the “pirate” broadcast, while the club confirmed it has an agreement to show the match on Facebook exclusively in Brazil. There has been “no explanation” as to why the match was made available in France (L’ÉQUIPE, 2/13). 20 MINUTES reported RMC Sport parent company Altice France CEO Alain Weill said, “There was an incident on PSG’s Facebook page. Obviously I cannot believe this was a deliberate decision. From what I understand this (Wednesday) morning, a Brazilian channel which owns the Champions League rights put the images on Facebook, and there was a total lack of control” (20 MINUTES, 2/13). L’ÉQUIPE also reported PSG is effectively in violation of its contracts if it is considered responsible for the illegal broadcast in France. UEFA has already been informed and is following the story as it develops (L’ÉQUIPE, 2/13).
UEFA launched a new Champions League service on Chinese messaging and social media app WeChat. This is UEFA's latest foray into the Chinese social media market, after relaunching its Champions League Weibo account in November. The WeChat and Weibo platforms will offer users premium Champions League content (UEFA).
Fox Sports and the World Surf League (WSL) announced an agreement making Fox Sports the exclusive U.S. TV broadcaster for WSL’s '19 men’s and women’s Championship Tour, as well as the Big Wave Tour. Fox Sports will telecast more than 500 hours of WSL programming, including live contests and highlight shows, across FOX, FS1, FS2 and the FOX Sports app in '19 (MULTICHANNEL, 2/13).