Rodrigo Lombello is the COO of our favorite network in America GolTV. I sat down for an interview with the congenial Palmeiras supporter to talk about GolTV’s recent renewal of their Bundesliga package for the next three year.
(his answers are in Bold)
Is the new rights package, the same offered by DFL Sports Enterprise?
Yes, it is. It includes every game (306 matches) live as well as the preview show Goal! And the weekly highlight show Hallo Bundesliga. The main difference in the package for GolTV is that in addition to the US and Canadian rights, we have exclusive rights to show the Bundesliga in Latin American for the next three years.
The Bundesliga is restructuring the schedule next year. There will be a Friday night match, five 3:30 Saturday matches, a new 6:30 Saturday match, a 3:30 Sunday match and a new 5:30 PM Sunday match. (these times are all CET, which is 6 hours ahead of EST). How will that affect scheduling?
Currently our plans are to continue to show 2 to 3 games each weekend, live and tape-delayed. The new Saturday late match looks to be a marquee game each week.
Yes, the league is going to try to make that game a big match.
Typically on Saturday, we get our games tape-delayed, is there any chance this later game could provide more live coverage.
Yes, we have had to use tape delay because Germany is six hours ahead of the East Coast, but 9 hours ahead of the West Coast, which has key markets like Los Angeles. Since we use a single feed for the entire country, we have shown games tape delayed so that the west coast won’t get their games at 6:30 in the morning. With this new game, the match will be at 9:30 AM for the West Coast and it is our hope that we can accommodate more live matches next year.
Well the new times must help, since the old structure had typically 6 to 8 games at the same time, which tied your hands in programming.
Yes, but we are looking into other avenues to provide more programming in the coming years either through partnering with other channels or taking advantage of on-line distribution. Since we own every game, we are working hard to find new means of connecting the fans to the games.
And the Friday game? Can you tell me more about that?
Well the Friday game has a few issues. First it’s at 2:30 EST when everyone is at work. In addition, it rarely involves the more well-known clubs, who are usually involved in mid-week European games. Anytime it involves Bayern, we show that game live and tape-delayed.
Is Bayern the only team that draws substantial numbers?
Not at all. While they do provide the best numbers, Schalke, Hamburg and Werder Bremen have had consistently strong audiences. The Bundesliga is the second biggest league for us, after La Liga; however, I think it’s better to view the games from a team perspective rather than a league perspective. The bigger clubs, whether from Spain, Brasil or Germany have a brand, and that brand carries weight when it comes to an audience.
Does using the DVR with your matches hurt your numbers?
No, we get a Live rating followed by Live+3 days, Live+7 days and Live+10 days. These latter option will pick up any taped viewers. However if you watch it live and tape it, it will show up on the Live rating.
Can we expect the promotion/relegation matches to be shown?
We have the rights to the games. Depending on programming priorities and the time of the matches, we are hopefully going to be able to show it.
And will you continue to show German National games?
That is a separate deal, not incorporated under the DFL package, but we do expect to continue showing German National games for the foreseeable future, especially World Cup Qualifiers.
Finally, two years ago you had a great promotion that sent two lucky viewers to German to watch two live matches. Can we expect anything like that in the future?
Currently we are running the Soccer Cam promotion w with a grand prize of a trip to the Emirates Cup this summer. After that is done, we are going to run another Bundesliga promotion.
Can I bribe you to win that?