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Blackstone: Investor leaves bidding process for Bundesliga media rights

The US financial investor Blackstone is withdrawing from the bidding process for the media rights for the Bundesliga. The German Football League (DFL) confirmed corresponding reports from the news agencies Bloomberg and Reuters. A DFL statement says that Blackstone is not an option as a marketing partner for various reasons. According to media reports, the reason is the hesitation of some club officials, who threatened to prolong the process further. Research by ZEIT ONLINE also confirms this.

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The DFL and the clubs were always aware “that the key points and red lines adopted in December place high demands on potential partners,” the DFL statement continues. However, given the ongoing process, details will not be discussed. There were “good conversations”.

This makes the investment company CVC the last contender for a stake of up to eight percent in a subsidiary of the German Football League to exploit Bundesliga media rights. The DFL also confirmed this. The further process will continue with CVC according to the planned schedule. The financial investor is to receive a percentage of the TV revenue and pay the DFL one billion euros for it.

Fans fear distortion of competition

In the active fan scene of the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga, a possible investor entry had led to widespread protests in recent weeks. Many fear that entry will distort competition. Time and again there were long interruptions in the game due to disruptive actions by fans.

Some club representatives responded to the protests. The president of VfB Stuttgart, Claus Vogt, recently called for a new vote among the 36 German first and second division clubs on investor entry after doubts arose about the outcome of the first vote. At that time, the DFL had just achieved the required two-thirds majority with 24 yes votes. The VfB board also agreed. Despite Vogt’s suggestion of a new election, the board wants to stick to its no.

The contract with the strategic marketing partner should be concluded before the national TV rights are put out to tender. The auction for this is planned for mid-April.

The US financial investor Blackstone is withdrawing from the bidding process for the media rights for the Bundesliga. The German Football League (DFL) confirmed corresponding reports from the news agencies Bloomberg and Reuters. A DFL statement says that Blackstone is not an option as a marketing partner for various reasons. According to media reports, the reason is the hesitation of some club officials, who threatened to prolong the process further. Research by ZEIT ONLINE also confirms this.

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