In view of the Corona crisis, ARD can also imagine the live broadcast of Bundesliga matches – under conditions. This is what ARD sports coordinator Axel Balkausky told the dpa news agency. “First of all, we have to wait and see if and when the game is played at all. And of course we respect the rights situation and the difficult situation sky and DAZN are in at the moment,” Balkausky said.
ARD is therefore interested in giving up its exclusive rights to the live broadcasts should Sky, DAZN and the German Football League (DFL) deal with it. “Then, and only then, would we be ready for talks,” Balkausky said.
Previously, former Bundesliga manager Willi Lemke had spoken out in favour of the live broadcast of football ghost matches on free-to-air television. “That would have the incredibly important effect of missing the run on the living rooms with Sky equipment. And people might not go to the stadiums and get infected there,” the Lemke told the Bild newspaper.
He does not expect Sky and DAZN to broadcast the planned ghost games completely free of charge in the event of a continuation of the Bundesliga or to give away the rights to competitors such as ARD and ZDF: “The other broadcasters would have to pay appropriately for this.”
Police union warns of fan build-up
However, the Police Union (GdP) sees another danger if the matches take place in the stadium without spectators. In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, GdP vice-president Jörg Radek said that it was the right of the DFL to draw up a plan for the reboot of the season. However, this “does not seem to take all aspects into account,” Radek said.
It may be possible to control what is happening in the stadium, the trade unionist said. “This does not apply to the public space before. The stadiums are becoming a potential target for fans who want to support their team. That would be devastating. During this pandemic, there must be no large crowds in front of the stadium gates. It’s not just forbidden, it would be irresponsible,” Radek said.
If fans violate the requirements imposed by the Corona pandemic, the police must intervene “in the interests of compliance with security and order.”
The DFL considers it possible to continue the season without spectators from 9 May. However, it is unclear when and from whom the DFL and the clubs can expect a binding decision on this.