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Sports

Bayern chairman rejects Bundesliga TV idea

The chairman of Bayern Munich, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has criticized the current model of pay TV in German soccer, but also dismissed the idea of the Bundesliga establishing its own premium channel.

A Sky camera man during a Bundesliga match

Sky holds the current rights to broadcast German soccer games

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has rejected the idea of the German soccer league setting up its own television channel, saying more should be done to establish pay TV in Germany.

"I'm really worried, because we've tried together with the league to establish pay TV in Germany, but it hasn't worked," Rummenigge said, referring to the business model behind Sky, the Bundesliga's current broadcasting partner.

"They made the mistake…of practically forcing people to take a subscription that linked sport with movies in the same package."

Rummenigge said any Bundesliga soccer channel would have to earn at least 240 million euros ($300 million) to make a profit.

"That's something you can forget about," the former Germany international told German newspapers on Saturday.

German football struggling internationally

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge watching a soccer match

Rummenigge doesn't think a Bundesliga channel would make enough money

According to Rummenigge, the Bundesliga should be trying to convince fans that pay TV can offer something which is not available on public broadcasters. He said that Germany's clubs would have to increase their TV earnings, otherwise the Bundesliga would struggle to compete internationally.

"On the transfer market, money is the only criterion," Rummenigge said. "The Bundesliga has been lagging behind for a long time regarding TV income internationally. We are easily last. Even France earns more."

The German league will earn 1.65 billion euros for the TV rights for the top two divisions over the next four years, an average of 412 million euros a year for the professional clubs.

Sky pays 225 million euros per year for the pay TV rights. That will rise to 275 million dollars, but Rummenigge suggested this was still too little for such a broadcasting deal.

"From the point of view of population and economic power, Germany is the biggest country in Europe. That's why I see no reason why such modest amounts are being paid by television."

Author: Joanna Impey (dpa/Reuters/SID)

Editor: Toma Tasovac

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