BREAKING: New tender for Turkish Football rights is on 25th of November

Link in Turkish

Yesterday, the president of Turkish Football Federation(TFF) announced that the new tender for the content rights of Turkish Football League will be issued on 25 November 2016.  

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The RFQ specifications will be announced around the end of this month. As of today, 5 local and 1 European company has completed their application to participate to the tender. The local ones are probablyTurkcell, Digiturk, D-Smart, Turk Telekom and Vodafone. The validity for the new tender will be probably 4+1 years starting from 2017-2018 football season.

The federation is expecting the tender to be finalized around 600 million USD per year. The legacy content owner Digiturk has acquired the rights at the expense of 321 million USD per year (424 million USD including taxes, federation fee and organization fee) in 2010. Demiroren stated that they decided to decrease TFF’s fee from 12 percent to 4 percent. It’s unclear that the declared expected quotation of 600 million USD is including all the costs.

It’s been emphasized that TFF is cooperating with consultants who actively worked on Premier Leauge’s tender. Obviously, TFF will target to maximize the revenue. Hence, it will be no surprise if they design the tender similiar to Premier League case.

Antitrust decision regarding the Digiturk's football content rights

Digiturk exclusively owns the rights of live broadcast of Turkish Football League games since 2001. It’s been estimated that more than 1 million out of 3 million Digiturk subscribers is solely interested in football content. This segment is considered to be unfaithful and potentially may move to the operator who has the content rights of Football. Following this short introduction regarding the importance of Football content to attract and keep pay-TV costumers, I’d like to mention about the latest decision made by Antitrust Committee of Turkey.

Digiturk had been rewarded at the tender for live broadcast rights of Football League of Turkey in 2010 by 500 million USD per year. The tender was for 4 years and it’s been supposed to end at the end of this football season. (2014/2015) Nevertheless, Digiturk had announced in October 2013 that the period had been extended for 2 additional years till the end of 2016-2017 season. Following this announcement, Antitrust Committee had started an investigation to decide if this is compliant with the Antitrust laws. The investigation result has been made public this week. You can see the full text here. As you probably doesn’t read Turkish 🙂 let me briefly explain the summary for you:

It’s been confirmed that Digiturk will continue to own broadcasting rights for additional 2 years (2015-16 and 2016-2017) with one condition: Digiturk will sublicense or transfer the rights competitive companies and companies with alternative broadcasting means at a ‘reasonable’ market conditions.

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I’m not a lawyer or somebody expert in contacts or so. But it’s obvious to me that the key expression here is ‘reasonable‘. What actually is reasonable market condition? How do you define it? Who will decide if the offer of Digiturk to other Pay-TV players would be ‘reasonable’ and how? I believe this is the most critical question. We’ll see if the decision of Antitrust Committee is really applicable in practise.