Falling Bundesliga club revenues and media rights may open gates for private equity investments in German league, says GlobalData

Germany’s premier domestic soccer competition has witnessed the ‘club sponsorship’ revenues fall by 9.4% in 2021/22 as the domestic media rights revenue has stagnated, down US$400m over four years, paving the way for a potential private equity partnership, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Business of the Bundesliga 2021/22’ reveals that the club sponsorship revenue has fallen to US$805m, with its domestic broadcast rights revenue falling by 7.5%, making the conditions more compatible for Germany’s lead soccer competition to once again entertain a private equity investment.

Patrick Kinch, Sport Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “German clubs have witnessed a dip in revenues in 2021/22 with the total league sponsorship declining from $889m to $805m, in spite of growing kit supplier and front of shirt markets, suggesting the overall Bundesliga sponsorship market is still recovering amidst the pandemic.

“The Bundesliga is also experiencing a curtailed ticketing revenue, with estimated losses through crowd restrictions reaching over $256m, and a domestic media rights cycle which is down $100m a year until 2025 compared to the previous deal.”

Having previously entertained the idea of allowing a privately led consortium to take over the management of its international media rights in exchange for a 25% stake of this revenue stream, sustained revenue decline, such as that experienced in 2021/22, may eventually turn these talks into a reality.

Falling media rights puts greater pressure on Bundesliga club sponsorship to offset these losses, and while the Bundesliga front of shirt and kit supplier markets have grown, remaining sponsorship has fallen by 21%, putting pressure on this revenue stream.

Mr. Kinch concludes: “Should losses remain, the Bundesliga may once again consider whether private equity is the preferred option for the long-term health of the league and its growth into expansion markets.”

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