German football association DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga has set up a joint venture with Athletia to take action against the illegal transmission of Bundesliga matches on an international level.
The German company founded in 2013 supports around 80 international clubs, leagues and associations with its services and products, particularly in the areas of content, branding, analysis and rights protection. Since 2015, Athletia has also been working for DFL in the field of social media protection and content compliance, handling cases in which protected content has been distributed on social media without authorisation.
The company is on a growth course and is establishing the joint venture ryghts together with DFL in order to add web streaming and IPTV to its rights protection business. DFL will hold a share in the company in the lower double-digit percentage range.
“Holding shares in a company that aims to better protect media rights is a compelling update of our strategy. We want to cover large parts of the media value chain around professional football and also develop services for other sports leagues from that,” said DFL CEO Christian Seifert. “Protection from the illegal distribution of valuable content is a crucial factor in the economic success of a sports organisation and its media partners. For that reason, ryghts has enormous potential for the future.”
Athletia managing director Lukas Klumpe added: “For us, ryghts is the logical expansion of Athletia in two respects. Firstly, the new product fits perfectly into our portfolio of individual services based on proprietary technology; secondly, we are delighted to take our long-standing cooperation with the DFL to a new level and to now develop this topic that is essential for the industry together.”
From now on, ryghts will carry out the monitoring of all international piracy surrounding the broadcast of Bundesliga matches. DFL is therefore entrusting proceedings against piracy violations in the areas of social media, web and IPTV to a single service provider for the first time. As part of the cooperation, ryghts will also benefit from assets such as the joint market presence with DFL, the existing expertise of the DFL Group in the specialist area and the corresponding cooperation in relation to innovations in the area of anti-piracy.