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.
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.
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.