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Bayern chair wants Champions League returned to German free TV

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Pin Rights are currently held by pay-per-view companies. AFP
Rights are currently held by pay-per-view companies. AFP

Bayern chair wants Champions League returned to German free TV

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 220

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge thinks Champions League matches should return to public television in Germany, since pay-per-view channels currently holding the broadcasting rights.

In 2017, state broadcaster ZDF lost the rights to show certain Champions League games from the start of this season. Rights in Germany are now exclusively held by pay-per-view companies Sky and DAZN, until 2021, at a reported cost of 200 million euros ($225 million).

Rummenigge warned that figures showing an 85 percent drop in viewing numbers must not be ignored.

"We have to put everything into convincing UEFA that in the next period affecting television rights (2021 until 2024), at least one live game, ideally a top match, must be seen again on free TV in Germany," Rummenigge told magazine Sport Bild.

"We are not in England, where the (Champions League) games have been shown exclusively on pay-per-view television every year or in Spain. We have a different football culture and that should be taken into account."

Bayern head coach Niko Kovac agreed that matches should be widely available to watch.

"Sport should be made available to many and everything else must be decided by those signing the contracts, which is not my job," Kovac said on Wednesday.

Rummenigge thinks football risks losing lucrative sponsorship agreements if viewing figures for top European matches in Germany continue to fall. He was also unimpressed with rumours of plans to hold Champions League games on weekends or to switch from eight groups of four teams to four groups of eight.

"In groups of eight there is the danger that 'dead games' will increase even more," said Rummenigge.

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