Cancellation of Bayern transmission
Russians don’t support Bundesliga message
During the Arminia Bielefeld game against Bayern Munich on Easter Sunday, the host sends clear signals on the billboard. “Stop the war, Putin! is written there. Too much for the Russian MatchTV licensee, who once again canceled the broadcast of a Bundesliga match.
“Stop the war, Putin! on the Bielefelder Alm billboard when Arminia lost 3-0 to record-breaking champions Bayern Munich. A clear message against Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which has now lasted almost two months. An affront to the licensee of the Russian Bundesliga MatchTV, which stopped broadcasting the match on Easter Sunday.
After almost 30 minutes, the broadcast of the match was interrupted by brief words amid an attacking action from Bayern. The broadcaster continues to adhere to the principle of keeping sport out of politics. “Football and sport are apolitical,” said the game’s commentator. It was not the first such incident.
Two weeks ago, after similar messages of peace in the stadiums, the broadcast of the match between Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig and the following day that of the duel between Borussia Mönchengladbach and FSV Mainz 05 ended prematurely. Russian media are prohibited from using terms such as ‘attack’, ‘invasion’ and ‘declaration of war’ when reporting on the war on Ukraine. Moscow describes the war as a military “special operation”.
The DFL observes the development
In a statement in early April, the German Football League (DFL) said it would stick to the contract with Russian Bundesliga partner Match TV. Instead of an extraordinary termination and renouncing the broadcasting of the championship in Russia, the DFL wanted to continue to “reach the Russian people with messages of peace from the stadiums”. However, the DFL also threatened to terminate the commercial relationship if there were further transmission interruptions. “At the same time, of course, we are closely monitoring whether and to what extent this option is still available,” the statement issued by the league reads.
Other big leagues like the English Premier League or the French Ligue 1 have suspended their contracts in Russia. The Bundesliga, on the other hand, currently continues to rely on the power of images and the use of messages from stadiums to have at least a small influence on the Russian public’s perception of the war. The DFL announced very early on that “in the current situation, it will not benefit from the partnership with Match TV and will donate the income still unpaid from the partnership this season to humanitarian aid”.
In addition to the powerful images of German stadiums, Bundesliga clubs continue to rely on great solidarity with Ukraine and Ukrainian league clubs. Borussia Dortmund will host top-flight club Dynamo Kyiv on April 26. The match will be broadcast live on ZDF. In the meantime, a broadcast on Russian television is not to be expected.
“We ask all of you, whether you support BVB or another team, whether you are a football fan or not, to please buy a ticket for our benefit match against Dynamo Kyiv,” said general manager Carsten Cramer. . “Let’s launch a global sign of solidarity against war and for peace in Europe. And above all, let’s help local populations together.”