The Executive Committee of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga has passed a resolution on the distribution of media revenue for the 2021-22 to 2024-25 seasons. After intensive discussions over seven working sessions and, despite some differences of opinion in certain areas, a solution was found that was adopted with no dissenting votes. In light of lower income in the marketing of German-language media rights, a phase of consolidation on international markets and substantial losses of income at club level due to the coronavirus pandemic, the future distribution system primarily aims to guarantee stability in times of an unprecedented crisis and to act as a targeted impulse looking forward in consideration of solidarity.
The relevant resolution was presented to the clubs of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 on Monday at a virtual Members Assembly.
With regard to the distribution of revenue from the awarding of German-language media rights (on average EUR 1.1 billion per season between 2021-22 and 2024-25), the Executive Committee of the DFL has agreed a dynamic two-stage plan based on four pillars: equal distribution, performance, youth talent and interest. The following is particularly noteworthy:
• In the first two years of the upcoming rights period, stability will be weighted higher than variable factors. This approach offers the clubs planning certainty and follows the rise of media revenue in the upcoming rights period, while accounting for the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, in the first two years – compared to the distribution according to the current system – an estimated additional EUR 75 million will be distributed equally. In 2021-22 and 2022-23, this means equal distribution averaging EUR 580 million per season and equates to a share of 53 percent per season in the total revenue from the sale of German-language media rights. Therefore, on the basis of the chosen distribution system, the clubs know prior to the start of respective seasons within next two years that proportionate additional funds are guaranteed. The relative increase in equal distribution also results in a smaller spread within the leagues, which cannot be determined precisely in advance due to the variable components and the uncertain league composition.
• At the same time, the approach is also forward-looking within the first two years of the upcoming rights period. In addition to the existing “performance” pillar, this will include a more extensive reward for youth development work and, for the first-time, recognition of club interest on the basis of market research.
• In the second stage of the future model, the “young talent” and “interest” pillars will be enlarged for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons – also based on the background that an estimated additional total of EUR 180 million will be available from the marketing of German-language media rights for these two years, in comparison with the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons.
• Greater weight will be given to youth development – for the first time, there will be rewards not only for the time that young talents play, but also for their training. In the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons, an average of EUR 47.5 million will be distributed to youth development work. For comparison, under the current system for the 2017-18 to 2020-21 seasons, the average is EUR 23 million per season.
• In the first two years, 2% (around EUR 22 million per season) of the revenue will be distributed to the “interest” criterion, determined according to market research by the renowned Allensbach Media Market Analysis (AWA). In the final two years, it will be 3% (around EUR 36 million per season). This will support clubs’ efforts for the greatest possible social relevance – also in the interests of media partners.
• A strategic retention of EUR 10 million is planned for the 2024-25 season, the use of which the Executive Committee of the DFL will decide upon in due course.
Under the four-pillar model, the revenue from the exploitation of German-language media rights will specifically be distributed as follows:
• Pillar 1 (“Equal distribution”) comprises 53% of revenue in 2021-22 and 2022-23, and 50% in 2023-24 and 2024-25. The total amount of this pillar in the 2021-22 season will be EUR 569 million, in the 2024-25 season it will be EUR 604 million. Within the respective leagues, Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs will receive the same amount. For the upcoming rights period, this means an equal distribution of EUR 460 million on average per season for Bundesliga clubs, and an estimated EUR 128 million for Bundesliga 2 clubs.
• Pillar 2 (“Performance”) comprises 42% (2021-22 and 2022-23) and 43% (2023-24 and 2024-25) of revenue. There is a separate five-year assessment for Bundesliga clubs and Bundesliga 2 clubs, in which, as before, the past five seasons are assessed (using the ratio 5:4:3:2:1, starting with the most recent season played). 24.5% (2021-22 and 2022-23) and 23% (2023-24 and 2024-25) of revenue relates to this pillar, broken down between Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 by approximately 81:19. A further 17% (2021-22 and 2022-23) and 19% (2023-24 and 2024-25) relate to a consistent five-year assessment across all 36 clubs, calculated using the same weighting. The remaining 0.5% (2021-22 and 2022-23) and 1% (2023-24 and 2024-25) relate to a consistent ten-year assessment across all 36 clubs, with all seasons (starting with the one played most recently) weighted equally. As the amount of the payment from pillar 1 and pillar 2 is already set before the start of a season, at this point the clubs have planning certainty for 95% (2021-22 and 2022-23) and 93% (2023-24 and 2024-25) of their revenue from DFL’s central marketing of German-language media rights.
• Pillar 3 (“Young talent”) comprises 3% (2021-22 and 2022-23) and 4% (2023-24 and 2024-25) of revenue and is divided into two areas:
a) Two thirds are allocated based on minutes played by youth players. This share is broken down in proportion to the minutes played in Germany by club-trained U23 players with local player status in the respective season. All matches, including the season at the age of 23 are taken into account (not including play-offs or extra time). Foreign players must be registered with a DFB club before the age of 15. The distribution is divided into two (each 50% of the total); after the first and second halves of a season.
b) The other third is allocated based on the training of the young players used. The period under consideration begins at the start of the season at the age of 12. The respective “current season” is not included as this is already rewarded via the minutes played by youth players. Only the current 36 professional clubs and their share of training are taken into account. The revenue is distributed in proportion to the total training time of all U23 local players used, calculated per club and weighted by minutes played in the respective season. The distribution is paid in full following the end of the respective season. This change does not affect the training reward for clubs of 3. Liga or lower, according to Annex III of the Player Licensing Rules.
• Pillar 4 (“Interest”) comprises 2% (2021-22 and 2022-23) and 3% (2023-24 and 2024-25) of revenue, distributed in proportion to interest in the clubs on the basis of the Allensbach Market and Advertiser Analysis (AWA). The AWA determines interest in Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs (and for 3. Liga, so that clubs promoted to Bundesliga 2 are also taken into account) among the German-speaking population from the age of 14, using a representative sample on the basis of around 23,000 persons surveyed. The revenue in question is distributed in full after the end of a season. The distribution is determined on the basis of the overall interest in the respective club.
International revenue: Increase of base amount – percentage participation of Bundesliga 2
Under the new distribution system, the premises of stability and solidarity also apply to international revenue (currently expected to amount to around EUR 180 million for the 2021-22 season). The equal distribution share is increasing here as well: Going forward, 35% of revenue will be distributed equally to all 18 Bundesliga clubs as a base amount. A further 50% will be distributed based on a five-year assessment of international performance. This is distributed in proportion to the points scored in this assessment. Moving ahead, this pillar will not include bonuses for participating clubs which reach the latter stages of international club competitions. The remaining 15% will be distributed for participation in UEFA club competitions over the past ten years, with each participation earning one point. Distribution will be in proportion to the number of points scored. In future it will also be essential to reach at least the group stage of a competition – qualifying matches will no longer be taken into account.
Before the Bundesliga clubs have their turn, Bundesliga 2 will share a fixed rate of international revenue over the next four years: 4% in 2021-22 and 2022-23, and 3% in 2023-24 and 2024-25. Above all, this progression takes into account the effects resulting at short notice from the coronavirus pandemic. The Bundesliga clubs will receive their distribution according to the criteria set out after this share is deducted.
Please click here to download the presentation on the distribution of media revenue for the 2021-22 to 2024-25 seasons (available in German).