Traditional broadcasters are losing the battle for sports rights - TechCentral

Traditional broadcasters are losing the battle for sports rights

Comcast’s Sky dominated coverage of Europe’s top club soccer competition in Germany for the past two decades. Now the streamers are taking over.

Billionaire Len Blavatnik’s DAZN and Amazon.com edged out Sky to secure exclusive rights to stream the UEFA Champions League tournament to their German customers for three seasons from 2021. The competition is prime sports real estate, featuring top clubs such as Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Manchester City.

Sky made every effort to retain the rights after owning them for about two decades, said Carsten Schmidt, the CEO of its German unit.

”We have an economically clear and responsible view of the value of sports rights,” he said in an e-mailed statement. “Keeping our customers also in mind, we were unwilling to go beyond the high value that we attach to these rights.”

A representative for DAZN had no immediate comment.

The loss puts Sky under greater pressure to retain exclusive rights to the Bundesliga, Germany’s domestic soccer league that’s still a key pay-TV selling point in Europe’s biggest economy. Those rights are going on sale next year.  — Reported by Stefan Nicola, with assistance from David Hellier, (c) 2019 Bloomberg LP

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