Television deals, panic and the Bundesliga

suspectLast week, the English Premier League signed a new television contract for a gazillion, billion dollars and right away, mass hysteria started to rear its head.

Even Karl-Heinz Rummenigge got into the act about how Bayern only get 78 percent of the TV revenue of what the last-placed club in the EPL gets. People actually cried about this on Facebook. So please, everyone – sit back, relax, and let us look at what is really going on here.

Television income is only one small piece of the revenue pie. The Bundesliga does not have to compete with the English Premier League on this, as it is kicking their butts on other revenue streams. While the teams in England depend on television and matchday revenue, the teams in Germany are getting the most out of commercial sponsorship. This is a natural tie in with having one of the better economies in the world.

Bayern Munich ranks number one in the world in commercial revenue income. More than Manchester United, more than Chelsea, more than Real Madrid. With commercial partners like Adidas, Audi, T-Mobile, and Allianz, one does not have to be overly concerned with the chump change income from television.

German football fans consider the 15:30 kickoff on Saturdays as sacred. They have adjusted to the one game on Friday, the late game on Saturday, and the two games on Sunday, but have little interest in the “salami” scheduling of the EPL. There is talk of adding a game on Monday night, for those teams that have a game in European competition on a Thursday. That in itself makes sense.

A push for youth development

Since the disaster that was the German Euro 2000 and 2004 campaigns, German football has made huge investments in youth development and part of this requires each team to have a youth training academy. Naturally, there is a cost associated with this, but there is also a huge financial benefit.

German teams spend an average of 37% of revenue on wages which is much less than the European average of 65%. This also makes sense. Young players command a lower salary than the more experienced players. Clearly, German teams are getting better bang for their Euro with the young talented hungry players.

While you can find almost anything on the Internet, finding actual profit statements from football teams seem to be impossible. Bayern Munich ranks third in revenue behind Real Madrid and Manchester United. I suspect if we were to see operating expenses, that it would be Bayern Munich that would be first in profit.

Both Real Madrid and Barcelona are heavily in debt and several EPL teams are struggling to break even. German teams on the other hand appear to be very financially healthy, which is actually a requirement for them to get their license to play in the league.

[pl_blockquote pull=”right” cite=”Uli Hoeness”]”In a transfer discussion you argue about the sum for five minutes. But the difference between €130 and €380 is huge for the fans. We do not think fans are like cows, who you milk. Football has got to be for everybody.”[/pl_blockquote]

The beautiful game is here for us – the fans, the people. Last year I read a story where it was determined that it was cheaper for someone in Manchester to travel and see a Bundesliga game in Hamburg and travel back, then go see a game in Manchester.

Uli Hoeneß has made it ardent point to keep season tickets for Bayern Munich affordable for the everyday person. The fact is that the English Premier League is becoming a luxury that only the wealthy can afford. While the best league in the world, through prudent financial planning, will be there for all of us.

Related articles

[pl_label type=”inverse”]Post editor: Zahra[/pl_label]