As Germany's Bundesliga looks to re-open behind closed doors we take a quick look at some of the ways that this might affect existing contracts.
1. Broadcasting. Those with rights to broadcast the Bundesliga will be breathing a sigh of relief as they now have access to prime content that will reinvigorate customers' interest. Unsatisfied with re-runs of classic matches, many football fans have been turning to gaming as they looked for an alternative to the usual weekly fix of live sports (read more about that here). The re-opening of the Bundesliga will bring viewers back to their tellies as football fans around the globe take an unprecedented interest in one the world's top flights of football.
2. Ticketing. While ticket sales have not been resuscitated by the plan to open behind closed doors, clubs can at least take comfort that they are not having to pay out refunds as the majority of tickets for football matches only go on sale a couple of weeks before matchday. Play behind closed doors may affect the atmosphere but for broadcasters there is the advantage that those who would have gone to the match will now want to watch it from the safety of their homes.
3. Sponsorship. Whilst re-starting the league will be something of a balm to sponsors they may be left asking if their agreements are now of a lesser value as they can no longer benefit from perks like offering free tickets to matches. Sponsors may want to work with clubs to see what alternatives they can procure as the industry continues to innovate. For contracts concerning leagues where play is yet to re-open sponsors and broadcasters may want to consider their rights under their existing contracts - see here for a more in-depth look at COVID-19 and cancellation in the sports sector.
4. Employment. The plan to resume the Bundesliga by the middle of May would ensure that all games are played before the majority of the league's player's contracts expire. This is significant because players will be able to move teams without transfer fees which could have an impact on clubs' pockets which are already under strain. For more information on employment contracts, speak to our employment team.
Bundesliga set to become first big league to restart in pandemic