The association of medium-sized cable operators in Germany FRK (Fachverband Rundfunkempfangs- und Kabelanlagen) has warned that the agreement between the German football league DFL and Leo Kirch’s marketing organisation Sirius could lead to a similar disaster as was seen with the Arena TV deal.
FRK Chairman Heinz-Peter Labonte said that viewers and consumers were not there to be milked by overpaid soccer players. “Not only does Sirius plan to take over the broadcast feed, but the right of customers to have critical and free reporting by other broadcasters,” said Labonte. He added that the way forward was to work with the existing pay-TV platforms rather than establish a platform of its own as compensation for the inflated cost of the rights that would then be passed onto smaller operators and the customer through increased fees.
The attempt by Arena, the content division of cable operator Unity Media, to secure the pay-TV rights to the Bundesliga ended in failure with the broadcaster forced to lease them to rival Premiere. Arena has said it will not be bidding again when the contract comes up for renewal.