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Bundesliga Fishing for Distribution Deals at World Cup

German Bundesliga officials hope the World Cup will increase Germany's appetite for its domestic league, making it easier to sell television rights abroad to matches played by clubs like Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin. Germany's league pales in comparison to the English Premiership or Spain's La Liga in terms of TV rights and merchandising. The World Cup may help it narrow the gap. "The World Cup is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for German soccer as a product,'" said Christian Seifert, head of Deutsche Fussball Liga GmbH (DFL), told Bloomberg news. The Bundesliga made about 12 million euros from the sale of foreign TV rights in the season that ended in June 2005, compared with England's Premier League, which raised 157 million euros from the sale of TV rights. "We have to catch up and the World Cup is a very good starting point," Seifert said, adding that they would use the tournament as an opportunity to meet with TV executives, journalists and representatives from soccer associations around the world to try and forge new distribution deals.

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