Deutsche Telekom, the German telecoms giant, has indicated its intention to sub-license games involving the German national team during the latter stages of basketball’s 2023 FIBA World Cup after the team reached the knockout rounds.

The German team has won all five of its games during the tournament so far and will face Latvia in the quarter-final on Wednesday (September 6). A win would not only see them advance to the semi-final stage of the World Cup but also qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Deutsche Telekom holds rights to the World Cup and has been showing games on its MagentaSport streaming platform. Games involving Germany have been shown for free in the country on the platform. 

However, Deutsche Telekom has now indicated it is ready to re-sell live games involving Germany to free-to-air broadcasters now that the team has advanced to the latter stages, with a spokesperson saying: “We regularly exchange ideas with other media partners and free TV broadcasters about possible collaborations on sports rights, including in the case of the Basketball World Cup.

“If cooperation makes sense for both sides, then it may be possible to exploit the content via other media partners. We are the exclusive media rightsholder for all World Cup games in Germany and are free to decide on possible sub-licensing.”

The comments come after a raft of German free-to-air broadcasters poured cold water over sub-licensing the rights from Deutsche Telekom over the weekend. 

Commercial broadcaster RTL ruled itself out and said it was “concentrating in September on the much-awaited start of the NFL [American football] season and our extensive soccer rights,” while ProSiebenSat.1 put out a statement today saying: “We will not show any World Cup games.”

Public service broadcasters ARD and ZDF have also shied away from the rights, stating: “ARD and ZDF are of course also reporting on this World Cup in various formats and broadcast channels … [2023] has already been marked by various sporting highlights such as the Women’s World Cup, the Tour de France, the Special Olympics, and the World Athletics Championships in the summer, and ARD and ZDF have to set priorities given limited resources and programming capacities.”

FIBA’s international media rights are distributed by FIBA Media, a joint venture with DAZN, in a deal spanning 2017 to 2033. Ahead of the tournament, the governing body said it had sold broadcast rights in over 190 countries. 

The World Cup, being held across the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia, began on August 25 and will conclude on September 10.