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Unanimous decision passed by the DFL Board on media income distribution for the seasons from 2017/18 to 2020/21


The Board of DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga has unanimously agreed on a new model for the distribution of media income over the next few years. The resolution, which applies to the seasons from 2017/18 to 2020/21, was presented to the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs at a meeting held today in Frankfurt/Main.

Under the new model, the key for distributing national income, which also includes further proceeds from group marketing (e.g. the official match ball and other licensed products), will incorporate elements of the current model in the future such as the inclusion of a five-year ranking of sports performance. However, the new four-pillar model now also applies additional parameters across all leagues. Referred to as "sustainability in sports", one pillar implements a 20-year view to determine a club’s long-term contribution to the development of Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, while the "young talent" pillar rewards the deployment of U23 players for the first time.  In addition to this, the “competition” pillar specifically seeks to encourage the attractiveness of the different table regions. 

With this decision, the DFL Board has opted for a differentiated solution in contrast to the previous categories, which resulted in a rigid distribution of the proceeds between the leagues. By the same token, it decided against implementing criteria such as the number of fans and viewer ratings, coming to the conclusion after extensive investigations that these factors were difficult to measure and compare.

25 percent of the international income will initially be distributed evenly across all 18 Bundesliga clubs, while a further 50 percent will be paid out on the basis of a five-year ranking of international performance. This amount will be paid out proportionately to the points awarded on the basis of this ranking. However, there are differences in the calculation methods compared with the UEFA’s five-year ranking system: in the interests of a more performance-oriented assessment, no bonus points are awarded if the group phase in international competitions is reached.

The distribution of the other 25 percent is based on the number of matches in the Europe League and Champions League (including qualifying competitions). One point is rewarded for every match played. The amount paid is proportional to the number of points achieved. Starting with the 2017/18 season, Bundesliga 2 will initially receive an annual share of five million euros of the international income before the Bundesliga clubs gain anything.  One million euros will be added to this in each of the following seasons.

"This unanimous decision provides a strong sign of solidarity in German professional football. Despite the highly diverse interests, it was again possible to find a way of combining the principle of rewarding performance, on the one hand, and the need for solidarity, on the other. In the light of the continued positive performance of Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, a further aim was to encourage sustainability in sports and the development of young talents as well as to strengthen competition in the various table regions," explained DFL President Dr. Reinhard Rauball:  "Thanks to the record amount of income from the national media rights, for which new tenders had been received in the summer, all clubs can expect to receive a considerable increase in income. In addition to this, the new distribution model takes account of the interests of media partners as well as spectators in the stadiums and the viewers at home by ensuring attractive competition."

Under the four-pillar model, national income will be specifically distributed as follows:

    Pillar 1 ("Standard"), which accounts for 70 percent of the national income, is distributed using the existing formula. What this means is that there is a five-year ranking for the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs in which the past five seasons are evaluated (on the basis of a ratio of 5:4:3:2:1 commencing with the most recent season).  In line with previous practice, the highest ranking Bundesliga club receives 5.8 percent of the income and the lowest-ranking one 2.9 percent. In Bundesliga 2, the first club receives 1.69 percent and the last one 0.75 percent.Pillar 2 ("sustainability in sports") accounts for 5 percent of  national income, which is distributed on the basis of a 20-year ranking of sporting performance. In contrast to pillar 1, all seasons (commencing with the most recent one) are given the same weighting. Moreover, Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are not viewed separately but placed in a single list ranking all 36 clubs. Pillar 3 ("young talent") comprises 2 percent of the national income, which is distributed proportionately to the number of minutes in which U23 players trained by German clubs are on the field in the current season. All matches including those in the season in which the player turns 23 years (excluding relegations and extra time) are taken into account.  Foreign players must register with a club within the DFB territory before turning 18.Pillar 4 ("competition"), which distributes 23 percent of the national income, is based on a weighted five-year ranking (5:4:3:2:1, beginning with the most recently completed season)  in the individual table regions and - in contrast to Pillar 1 - includes all 36 clubs. Moreover, other percentages differing from those used for pillar 1 are applied to each ranking in the table. The first six clubs in this pillar receive the same amount.

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