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New TV deal confirms rise of the Bundesliga

The Bundesliga has signed a five-year global broadcasting agreement with 21st Century Fox, as it seeks to broaden its international presence and close the gap on the Premier League and La Liga.

The deal, starting from the 2015-16 season, will see matches from the top two German divisions broadcast in every country in north and Latin America, a majority of countries in Asia, as well as selected European territories.

“These deals underline the fact that the Bundesliga has been recognized as a top media right in the sports business world,” said German football league (DFL) CEO Christian Seifert in a statement.

“The collaboration with global partner 21st Century Fox gives German professional football new chances for wide global reach and growth in the near future.”

The DFL currently earns about 70 million euros from international media rights for the Bundesliga and the new deal with Fox covers about 80 markets worldwide.

The DFL can expect to double their foreign media rights revenues due to the Fox deal and several other contracts, with Seifert having targeted between 100-150 million euros for the next rights period.

“The Bundesliga has, on and off the pitch, developed into a leading global football league,” said James Murdoch, 21st Century Fox deputy COO.

“We look forward to working with the DFL and will use our unique offer of sports broadcasters to attract an even bigger global audience to the Bundesliga.”

The deal confirms the growing strength of the Bundesliga which has been experiencing a boom in the last few years with record attendances, growing television rights revenues, all of which has translated to success on the pitch.

Turnover rose to over two billion euros in 2011-12 from one billion euros in 2001-02.

The top-flight clubs posted a combined profit after tax of 55 million euros and a total turnover of 2.081 billion euros in 2011-12, up 7.2 percent from 1.94 billion in the 2010-11 season, the DFL has said.

The Bundesliga also enjoys the world’s highest average attendance per league game with over 44,000 spectators in the 2011-12 season. The English Premier League is in second place with 35,000.

On the pitch, Bayern beat Dortmund in an all-German final of the Champions League – Europe’s premier club competition – last season. Four German teams are competing in this season’s tournament.

Impressive though these figures are, Germany still trails in the wake of the financial juggernaut that is the Premier League.

Sales of rights around the globe have taken total television revenues for the league to an estimated £5.5 billion (6.4 billion euros) over the next three years.

In comparison, the Bundesliga’s top two divisions generated media revenues of just over 653 million euros for the 2011-12 season, up from 593 million in 2008-09.