The Office for the Protection of Competition has demanded that the tender for the broadcasting rights to Czech football be split into several smaller parts. According to Czech daily Hospodářské noviny, a single large package for the rights will not pass muster with the watchdog.
The Football League Association (LFA) believes that a public tender could generate up to CZK 400 million (around €16.5 million) a year. The antitrust office wants to ensure that smaller players can also participate in the competition for individual broadcasting rights.
"The regulator has made it clear that it is not concerned with the economic or technological requirements of the LFA. It is only concerned with transparency and allowing as many companies as possible to bid for the rights. However, such conditions are not easy to meet," an unnamed league official told the newspapers.
Not only will the form of the bidding process change from the original proposal, but so will its duration and the weighting of the criteria used to select the winner. The rights would run for five seasons from July 2024, with the price offered being the most important evaluation criterion (85%). The quality of the broadcast and compliance with the technical conditions would account for the remaining 15% of the evaluation of the bid.
The rights would be offered in three parts: the first league, the second league and streaming rights for betting companies. Those interested in the first league should submit bids in three variants - exclusive, in combination with one betting office and in combination with two betting offices.
"Similarly, they should submit three bids for the broadcast of matches from a single matchday: broadcast the entire matchday themselves, select the four most attractive matches or have the LFA select four matches for them," Hospodářské noviny added.
The new owner of Czech football broadcasting rights is expected to be announced by the end of September.