The German Federal Cartel Office has given its approval to plans by Arena to sublicense the rights to Bundesliga football coverage to Premiere through to the end of the 2008/09 season. The two broadcasters were obliged to revisit their original agreement after concerns that it might impact on competition.
The Cartel Office was concerned that Arena and Premiere had wanted to split the market with the cablenet taking the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse while Premiere would serve the rest of the country over cable and all of its satellite subscribers.
Arena will now sublicense its broadcast rights to Premiere for the next two seasons. Premiere to allow Arena to broadcast its coverage over cable and satellite.
The approval saves a potential embarrassment for the football authorities that could have been faced with Arena handing back its contract just three weeks before the start of the new season.
Arena held the rights to Germany’s top-flight football for just one year having outbid Premiere in a fiercely fought battle