DAZN, the global sports streaming service, has threatened German soccer’s DFL body with legal action over their ongoing domestic media rights dispute.

The OTT platform, one of the league’s two incumbent domestic rightsholders, (alongside Sky Deutschland), has missed out on the main package of rights to the top-flight Bundesliga but claims the DFL has acted unlawfully in not accepting its bid in the tender.

The DFL was last week forced to suspend the tender process following DAZN’s allegation.

It is believed that package B of Bundesliga rights for the 2025-26 to 2028-29 five-year cycle has been awarded to Sky, as it was in the previous tender.

The package, one of four reserved for pay-TV broadcasters only, includes matches played on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons and comprises a total of 196 per season.

However, DAZN is not prepared to accept the outcome and has sent a letter to the DFL’s co-chief executives Steffen Merkel and Marc Lenz threatening to file an arbitration claim to challenge the decision next week if a resolution is not found in the coming days.

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According to a report by the Financial Times, DAZN has until Tuesday to legally challenge the outcome of the rights auction.

In a statement issued today, the DFL maintains it did not violate any laws and carried out the tender process “in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner in accordance with the commitments made to the Federal Cartel Office and the regulations of the tender documents.”

The league added: “The responsible DFL committees have legally awarded rights package B to another bidder in accordance with the procedural rules of the tender. The offers from DAZN did not comply with the tender and were therefore not taken into account in the award. The document from a bank subsequently submitted by DAZN does not change the decision about the alternative award. There is no basis and no justification for the reversal of the decision demanded by DAZN.

“The DFL once again firmly rejects DAZN's repeated argument that they were not correctly informed about the award conditions. The conditions were known to all interested parties in the auction.

“The DFL has clarified its position in several letters to DAZN and made several offers for talks. The “lack of reaction from the DFL” publicly cited by DAZN is incomprehensible.

“Should DAZN file the arbitration claim, the DFL is well positioned for such proceedings. In the interests of speedy procedural and legal certainty, which is in everyone's interest, the DFL expects that all parties involved accept an arbitration award as final and conclusive.”

DAZN claims it submitted a bigger offer than Sky for package B and should have secured the rights as the DFL tender stipulates that a bidder will be awarded the contract immediately if its offer meets the minimum requirement and is at least 20% higher than the second-best offer.

The DFL demanded a bank guarantee from DAZN, but the platform said it already explained in its tender document that it would provide a “hard letter of comfort” – as it claimed it did in the previous tender.

According to DAZN, this was accepted by the DFL, but the league demanded “a very specific bank guarantee from DAZN within 24 hours” which it described as “an impossible task.”

In the current 2021-22 to 2024-25 rights cycle, Sky and DAZN also share live rights with ProSiebenSat.1, and Sport1. These deals are worth, in total, around €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) annually, with the league seeking to retain this value for the next deal.