German Bundesliga fans are not happy about a recent deal for the German Football League (DFL) to sell a piece of their TV and marketing rights. The Bundesliga and the rest of the German federation were selling 8% of these rights as a private equity investment. The deal will last for up to 20 years.

The German top flight and second-tiered divisions shot down a similar move back in May. However, a new revised package passed by a single vote. Deals such as these have to first be approved by at least two-thirds of the clubs. There are 36 teams currently in these two leagues. This means that 24 clubs have to vote yes for a measure to pass. Precisely 24 teams approved the motion.

According to German journalists, the DFL is hoping to get over $1 billion in quick payments from the deal. A large chunk of these investments, about $650 million, would be set aside for video content, streaming, and overseas marketing. The remaining money is thought to be distributed directly to the clubs. This is likely to include organizing future international tours.

Official fan groups call for organized protests during games

As a result of the contentious agreement, fan organizations are planning a protest. These groups are calling for 12 minutes of collective silence during upcoming matches. Freelance journalist Matt Ford translated the group’s statement released on Friday.

“The result of the DFL general meeting represents a bursting of a dam for the Bundesliga,” proclaimed the fan organization. “Little remains of the oft-cited humility of professional football from during the pandemic. Instead, in a thoroughly untransparent process, dodgy club representatives have chosen the path of money. Unsurprisingly, particularly dubious investors now have a foot in the door.”

“A contract over two decades will open Pandora’s box and not rule out the arrival of further investors. On the contrary, you can be sure that the unbridled greed for profit will not dwindle with times.”

“We consider an investor deal to be a fundamental attack on the people’s game in Germany. We will pool our collective resources in a battle against greed and despotism. The executives can still stop this calamitous investor project. We will keep them firmly in our sights.”

Premier League dwarfs Bundesliga media rights

The next round of domestic Bundesliga media rights negotiations comes in the middle of 2024. This next deal will include exclusivity to broadcast German matches for the next four years. The upcoming package starts ahead of the 2025/26 campaign. It runs until the conclusion of 2028/29. Bundesliga officials believe the aforementioned $1 billion deal in private equity investment will finish before this timeframe.

International Bundesliga media rights are currently around $218 million. This figure is drastically lower than the Premier League. The English top flight currently rakes in over $2 billion from foreign rights alone. The deal between DFL and the outside investors is an attempt to close this gap and help boost Bundesliga’s future growth.