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DFL aims to use TV revenue to help level playing field

Chuck Penfold dpa, SID
November 24, 2016

The DFL has agreed on a formula for distributing revenue from TV rights beginning next season. The new rights deal agreed earlier this year brings a major increase in income for Germany's top two football leagues.

Christian Seifert DFL Fußball Anstoss 2016 Neujahr
Image: Getty Images/M.Hangst

The DFL (German Football League) has unveiled a new formula for distributing cash from the Bundesliga's TV deal.

It is claimed the new system, which was announced at the DFL's Frankfurt headquarters on Thursday introduces a four-criteria system instead of two that will help level the playing field, and reward clubs for developing young players.

However, the long-term members of the Bundesliga still stand to earn the bulk of the 4.64 billion euros ($4.92 billion) that the new television deal is set to bring in between 2017-18 and 2020-21.

Seventy percent of the revenue is to be distributed in separate five-year rankings in the Bundesliga and the second division. A further 23 percent is to be handed on the basis of five-year ranking combining the two divisions.

Five percent is to be paid out based on a 20-year ranking of the 36 clubs in Germany's top two divisions. This provision could benefit a team like Kaiserslautern, who won the Bundesliga in 1998 and spent many of the past two decades in the top flight, but are down battling against relegation from the second division.

Two percent is to be paid to clubs based on how many minutes they give to players who have been trained in Germany and are under 23 years old, a provision that could sweep fresh euros into the coffers of a team like Freiburg.

DFL President Reinhard Rauball hailed the agreement on the new formula as "a strong sign of cooperation in German professional football" despite differing interests between the clubs.

"This new formula is meant to strengthen competition in the long term. The standings should not be cast in stone," the DFL's CEO, Christian Seifert said. He also noted that due to the fact that the new TV rights deal will increase revenue to the two top leagues by some 85 percent "everybody will be getting a lot more than they did before."

In the past 80 per cent of the funds from television rights went to Bundesliga clubs - and the remaining 20 per cent to second-division clubs, through a lump sum plus additional payments based on performance.