Is the goal worth a two year decline

New TV contract: how much is a goal now?

Exclusive pay-TV presence brings the Bundesliga record revenues. What that means for sponsors and the advertising value.

This is the cover story of HORIZONT No. 45.

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The trend towards sports broadcasts on pay TV continues: after the soccer Champions League and the German soccer league, Austria's top division will also only be shown exclusively on pay TV from 2018/19. The Bundesliga club conference agreed on the fundamental decision that Sky would receive the exclusive rights to the domestic Bundesliga from 2018/19 to 2021/22. For free TV, four live games, summaries with a maximum of 90 seconds per game and a highlight show remain of the 195 games in the new twelve-league - for the first time since 1993, more than ten clubs have played again. Broadcasters cost a lot. 34 million euros gross per season in the first four years were rumored, the package also includes an option for four more years, which cost 41 million euros. All in all, the Bundesliga got a package worth 300 million euros on the table. As usual, the league did not communicate specific figures, but only spoke of an increase of 40 percent. So far, ORF and Sky have jointly paid 22.5 million euros. The clubs earn considerably more TV money in one fell swoop. But what does that mean for the advertising value of clubs in the age of pay-TV? A forecast by Nielsen Sports shows trends. This calculated a loss of advertising value from 90 to 20 million euros for the change of Champions League broadcasts in Germany to pay TV, i.e. a decrease of over 75 percent. Is there a threat of a similar scenario for Austria - and thus tough renegotiations with the sponsors, who also pay for their presence in the media and wrestle about it? Advantages of a print country
The good news for the clubs: Austria is also a strong print country when it comes to football coverage - and can therefore hardly be compared with Germany. Focus Austria managing director Marcel Grell points out to HORIZONT: "In the context of soccer Bundesliga reporting, the print media are very important in Austria." In the 2016 reporting year, according to Focus, 54 percent of the gross advertising value achieved was generated via print media, in addition, 27 percent came from Sky and 19 percent from ORF. "The soccer Bundesliga is therefore not comparable with the Alpine Ski World Cup, where ORF's share of the basic gross advertising value is almost 90 percent," says Grell. In addition, the question of the highlight show and the live games (where the league wants the crowd puller Vienna Derby) is still a decisive factor. In any case, a decline in advertising value, as in the German Champions League case, is “not realistic for Austria,” says Grell, summarizing the largely elimination of live games from free TV. This is also the opinion of Hans-Willy Brockes, managing director of the European sponsorship exchange ESB: “There will be no fall of 75 percent under any circumstances,” he says of HORIZONT. Brockes refers to the as yet unexplained factor of highlight programs, which will create reach and thus advertising value. "Since the Bundesliga has signed the contract with Sky, I even believe that you can benefit from their expertise and achieve a reach that ensures that the Bundesliga does not become a niche topic," said Brockes. He can imagine that losses in advertising value can even be compensated for by up to 100 percent. “In general, it is true that you hardly reach young target groups with free TV. These use the various mobile and social media-driven channels. A rethink is therefore - one way or another - necessary. " Effects on Sponsors
What does the new TV contract mean specifically for the sponsors? The betting provider tipico, for example, who was the name sponsor of the Austrian Bundesliga until the end of the last free TV season 17/18, did not want to comment on the subject when asked by HORIZONT until specific details were known. A general answer as to whether competition sponsors are affected differently than club sponsors cannot be made, says Marcel Grell - this factor depends too much on the individual placement packages. "In dress sponsoring, the advertising value is primarily generated by the print media, in the case of banners and, for example, LED banners on TV," says the Focus Austria managing director. “In this respect, an individual analysis is necessary for each sponsor on the basis of the Focus full survey data.” Sponsoring expert Brockes also points out that one has to wait and see how many new subscribers and thus Seher Sky wins per game. The central point here will be affordability. The broadcaster did not want to give HORIZONT any detailed information on rumors that Sky is planning its own Austria package. "We will communicate any offers in due course," said a company spokesman. However, Sky wants to break new ground in the marketing of football: “We are looking forward to an intensive, long-term partnership with the aim of sustainably strengthening the international competitiveness of Austrian clubs. We want to break new ground in marketing football as a product and make it more attractive for a wide variety of target groups. The younger fans are particularly important to us, ”said Holger Enßlin, Managing Director Legal, Regulatory & Distribution at Sky Deutschland when the deal became known. New ways to the fan community
Regardless of the question of whether pay or free TV, sponsors would have to look for new ways to reach the fan community in the future anyway. “This means that not least because of the new media, but also through perfectly organized incentives, the involvement of brand ambassadors, public events and so on, sponsoring has acquired many new facets. Experience and staging are the keywords here, ”says Brockes. The importance of sponsoring is growing and the involvement of companies is increasing. “The majority of companies are looking for alternatives to traditional advertising. You are looking for attractive, intelligent ways to find and retain new customers. In sponsoring, for example, one of the most important goals is reaching the public in order to emotionalize or popularize one's own brand. Every type of communication needs emotions and these can be found very well at events, clubs and (sports) stars. "•