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Country Germany
Confederation UEFA
Founded 1963 (1963)
Number of teams 18
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to 2. Bundesliga
Domestic cup(s)
International cup(s)
Current champions Bayern Munich (24th title)
Most championships Bayern Munich (24 titles)
TV partners
2015–16 Bundesliga

The Bundesliga (lit. English: "Federal League", sometimes referred to as the Fußball-Bundesliga or 1. Bundesliga), is a professional association football league in Germany and the football league with the highest average stadium attendance worldwide. At the top of the German football league system, the Bundesliga is Germany's primary football competition. The Bundesliga is contested by 18 teams and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the 2. Bundesliga. Seasons run from August to May. Most games are played on Saturdays and Sundays, with a few games played during weekdays. All of the Bundesliga clubs qualify for the DFB-Pokal. The winner of the Bundesliga qualifies for the DFL-Supercup.

A total of 53 clubs have competed in the Bundesliga since its founding. FC Bayern Munich has won the Bundesliga the most, winning the title 24 times. However, the Bundesliga has seen other champions with Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, Werder Bremen, Borussia Mönchengladbach and VfB Stuttgart most prominent among them. The Bundesliga is one of the top national leagues, currently ranked 2nd in Europe according to UEFA's league coefficient ranking, based on performances in European competitions over the past five seasons.[1] The Bundesliga is the number one football league in the world in terms of average attendance; out of all sports, its average of 45,134 fans per game during the 2011–12 season was the second highest of any sports league in the world after the National Football League.[2] The Bundesliga is broadcast on television in over 200 countries.[3]

The Bundesliga was founded in 1962 in Deutscher Fußball-Bund (English: German Football Association), but is now operated by the Deutsche Fußball Liga (English: German Football League).


  • Overview 1
  • History 2
    • Origins 2.1
    • Establishment 2.2
  • Structure and competition 3
    • Changes in league structure 3.1
    • European qualification (as of 2015–16) 3.2
      • History of European qualification 3.2.1
  • Current members of the Bundesliga (2015–16 season) 4
  • Verdiente Meistervereine 5
  • Business model 6
    • Financial regulations 6.1
    • Attendances 6.2
  • Media coverage 7
  • Champions 8
  • Records 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


The winner of the Bundesliga receives the "Deutsche Meisterschale" (English: "German championship trophy")

The Bundesliga is composed of two divisions: the 1. Bundesliga (although it is rarely referred to with the First prefix), and, below that, the 2. Bundesliga (Second Bundesliga), which has been the second tier of German football since 1974. The Bundesligen (plural) are professional leagues. Since 2008, the 3. Liga (3rd League) in Germany is also a professional league, but may not be called Bundesliga because the league is run by the German Football Association (DFB) and not, as are the two Bundesligen, by the German Football League (Deutsche Fußball-Liga or DFL).

Below the level of the 3rd league, leagues are generally often subdivided on a regional basis. For example, the Regionalligen are currently made up of Nord (North), Nordost (Northeast), Süd (South), Südwest (Southwest) and West divisions. Below this are thirteen parallel divisions, most of which are called Oberligen (upper leagues) which represent federal states or large urban and geographical areas. The levels below the Oberligen differ between the local areas. The league structure has changed frequently and typically reflects the degree of participation in the sport in various parts of the country. In the early 1990s, changes were driven by the reunification of Germany and the subsequent integration of the national league of East Germany.

Every team in the two Bundesligen must have a licence to play in the league, or else they are relegated into the regional leagues. To obtain a licence, teams must be financially healthy and meet certain standards of conduct as organisations.

As in other national leagues, there are significant benefits to being in the top division:

  • A greater share of television broadcast licence revenues goes to 1. Bundesliga sides.
  • 1. Bundesliga teams draw significantly greater levels of fan support. Average attendance in the first league is 42,673 per game — more than twice the average of the 2. Bundesliga.
  • Greater exposure through television and higher attendance levels helps 1. Bundesliga teams attract the most lucrative sponsorships.
  • 1. Bundesliga teams develop substantial financial muscle through the combination of television and gate revenues, sponsorships and marketing of their team brands. This allows them to attract and retain skilled players from domestic and international sources and to construct first-class stadium facilities.

The 1. Bundesliga is financially strong, and the 2. Bundesliga has begun to evolve in a similar direction, becoming more stable organizationally and financially, and reflecting an increasingly higher standard of professional play.

Borussia Dortmund against rivals Schalke, known as the Revierderby, in the Bundesliga in 2009

Internationally, the most well-known German clubs include Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04, Hamburger SV, VfB Stuttgart, Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen. Hamburger SV is the only team to have played continuously in the Bundesliga since its foundation.

In the 2008–09 season, the Bundesliga reinstated an earlier German system of promotion and relegation, which had already been in use from 1981 until 1991:

  • The bottom two finishers in the Bundesliga are automatically relegated to the 2. Bundesliga, with the top two finishers in the 2. Bundesliga taking their place.
  • The third-from-bottom club in the Bundesliga will play a two-legged match with the third-place team from the 2. Bundesliga, with the winner taking up the final place in the following season's Bundesliga.

From 1992 until 2008, a different system had been used in which the bottom three finishers of the Bundesliga had been automatically relegated, to be replaced by the top three finishers in the 2. Bundesliga. From 1963 until 1981 two respectively three teams had been relegated from the Bundesliga automatically, while promotion had been decided either completely or partially in promotion play-offs.

The season starts in early August[4] and lasts until late May, with a winter break of six weeks (mid-December through to the end of January). In recent years, games have been played on Saturdays (five games beginning at 3:30 pm and one game beginning at 6:30 pm) and Sundays (one game beginning at 3:30 pm and one game at 5:30 pm). A new television deal in 2006 reintroduced a Friday game (beginning at 8:30 pm).



For more details on this topic, see History of German football

Prior to the formation of the Bundesliga, German football was played at an amateur level in a large number of sub-regional leagues until, in 1949, part-time (semi-) professionalism was introduced and only five regional Oberligen (Premier Leagues) remained. Regional champions and runners-up played a series of playoff matches for the right to compete in a final game for the national championship. On 28 January 1900, a national association, the Deutscher Fußball Bund (DFB) had been founded in Leipzig with 86 member clubs. The first recognised national championship team was VfB Leipzig, who beat DFC Prague 7–2 in a game played at Altona on 31 May 1903.

Through the 1950s, there were continued calls for the formation of a central professional league, especially as professional leagues in other countries began to draw Germany's best players away from the semi-professional domestic leagues. At the international level the German game began to falter as German teams often fared poorly against professional teams from other countries. A key supporter of the central league concept was national team head coach Sepp Herberger who said, “If we want to remain competitive internationally, we have to raise our expectations at the national level.”

Meanwhile, in East Germany, a separate league was established with the formation of the DS-Oberliga (Deutscher Sportausschuss Oberliga) in 1950. The league was renamed the Football Oberliga DFV in 1958 and was generally referred to simply as the DDR-Liga or DDR-Oberliga. The league fielded 14 teams with two relegation spots.


The Bundesliga was founded at the annual DFB convention at the Westfalenhallen in Dortmund on 28 July 1962

The defeat of the national team by Yugoslavia (0–1) in a 1962 World Cup quarter-final game in Chile was one impetus (of many) towards the formation of a national league. At the annual DFB convention under new DFB president Hermann Gösmann (elected that very day) the Bundesliga was created in Dortmund at the Westfalenhallen on 28 July 1962 to begin play starting with the 1963–64 season.[5]

At the time, there were five Oberligen (Premier Leagues) in place representing West Germany's North, South, West, Southwest, and Berlin. East Germany, behind the Iron Curtain, maintained its separate league structure. 46 clubs applied for admission to the new league. 16 teams were selected based on their success on the field, economic criteria and representation of the various Oberligen.

The first Bundesliga games were played on 24 August 1963. Early favourite 1. FC Köln was the first Bundesliga champion (with 45:19 points) over second place clubs Meidericher SV and Eintracht Frankfurt (both 39:25).

Structure and competition

The German football champion is decided strictly by play in the Bundesliga. Each club plays every other club once at home and once away. Originally, a victory was worth two points, with one point for a draw and none for a loss. Since the 1995–96 season, a victory has been worth three points, while a draw remains worth a single point, and zero points are given for a loss. The club with the most points at the end of the season becomes German champions. Currently, the top three clubs in the table qualify automatically for the group phase of the UEFA Champions League, while the fourth-place team enters the Champions League at the third qualifying round (see overview). The two teams at the bottom of the table are relegated into the 2nd Bundesliga, while the top two teams in the 2nd Bundesliga are promoted. The 16th-placed team (third-last), and the third-placed team in the 2nd Bundesliga play a two-leg play-off match. The winner of this match plays the next season in the Bundesliga, and the loser in the 2nd Bundesliga.

If teams are level on points, tie-breakers are applied in the following order:

  1. Goal difference for the entire season
  2. Total goals scored for the entire season
  3. Head-to-head results (total points)
  4. Head-to-head goals scored
  5. Head-to-head away goals scored
  6. Total away goals scored for the entire season

If two clubs are still tied after all of these tie-breakers have been applied, a single match is held at a neutral site to determine the placement. However, this has never been necessary in the history of the Bundesliga.

In terms of team selection, matchday squads must have no more than five non-EU representatives. Seven substitutes are permitted to be selected, from which three can be used in the duration of the game.

Changes in league structure

  • Number of teams:
    • 1963–64 to 1964–65: 16
    • 1965–66 to 1990–91: 18
    • 1991–92: 20, while the East German league was being included after German reunification
    • Since 1992–93: 18
  • Number of teams relegated (automatic relegation except as noted):
    • 1963–64 to 1973–74: 2
    • 1974–75 to 1980–81: 3
    • 1981–82 to 1990–91: 2 automatic plus the 16th-place team in the First Bundesliga played a two-leg relegation match against the third-place team of the Second Bundesliga for the final spot in the First Bundesliga
    • 1991–92: 4
    • 1992–93 to 2007–08: 3
    • Since 2008–09: 2 automatic plus the 16th-place team in the First Bundesliga playing a two-leg relegation match against the third-place team of the Second Bundesliga for the final spot in the First Bundesliga

European qualification (as of 2015–16)

  • 1st, 2nd place and 3rd place: Group phase of UEFA Champions League
  • 4th place: Play-off round of Champions League for non-champions. Winners at this stage enter the group phase; losers enter the group phase of UEFA Europa League.
  • 5th place: Play-off round of Europa League
  • 6th place: Third qualifying round of Europa League
  • Until the 2016-17 season, an additional place in the Europa League could also be granted via the UEFA Fair Play mechanism. This rule was maintained from the UEFA Cup. The last Bundesliga team to gain entry to the UEFA Cup via the fair play rule was Mainz 05 in 2005–06.
  • DFB-Pokal (German Cup) winner: Qualifies for group phase of UEFA Europa League regardless of league position.
    • Until 2015-16, if the Cup winner qualified for the Champions League, the cup winner's place in the Europa League went to the defeated cup finalist if it had not already qualified for European competition, although the defeated cup finalist would enter the competition a stage earlier than if it had won the Cup. This rule was retained from the Europa League's predecessor, the UEFA Cup. From 2015-16, the runners-up no longer qualify for the Europa league and the Europa League berth reserved for the DFB-Pokal winners is transferred to the highest finisher below the Champions League qualification places.

The number of German clubs which may participate in UEFA competitions is determined by UEFA coefficients, which take into account the results of a particular nation's clubs in UEFA competitions over the preceding five years.

History of European qualification

  • European Cup/Champions League:
    • Up to and including 1996–97: German champion only.
    • 1997–99: Top two teams; champions automatically into group phase, runners-up entered the qualifying round.
    • 1999–2008: Top two teams automatically into first group phase (only one group phase starting in 2003–04). Depending on the DFB's UEFA coefficients standing, either one or two other clubs (most recently one) entered at the third qualifying round; winners at this level entered the group phase.
    • 2008–2011: Top two teams automatically into group phase. Third placed team had to play in the play-off round for the right to play in the group stage.
  • UEFA Cup/Europa League:
    • From 1971–72 to 1998–99, UEFA member nations could send between one to four teams to the UEFA Cup. Germany was always entitled to send at least three teams to the competition and often as many as four. From 1978–79, the number of participants was determined by the DFB's UEFA coefficient standing, prior to this the method for deciding the number of participants is unknown. The best performing teams in the league other than the champion would qualify, although if one of these teams was also winner of the DFB-Pokal then they would enter the Cup Winners' Cup instead and their UEFA Cup place would be taken by the next highest-placed team in the league (5th or 6th place). Briefly in the mid-1970s the DFB decided to allocate the last UEFA Cup place to the DFB-Pokal runner-up instead of a third or fourth team qualified by performance in the league, meaning that at this point the DFB-Pokal qualified two teams for European competition (winners for the Cup Winners' Cup, runners-up for the UEFA Cup). This policy was unique amongst UEFA member associations and was dropped after only a few seasons. Starting with the 1999–2000 season and the abolition of the Cup Winners' Cup (which was then folded into the UEFA Cup), the DFB-Pokal winner now automatically qualified for the UEFA Cup alongside, depending on the DFB's UEFA coefficients standing, between one and three extra participants (if the DFB-Pokal winner also qualified for the Champions League, they were replaced by the DFB-Pokal runner-up; if they were also qualified for the Champions League, the UEFA Cup place went to the next best placed team in the league not otherwise qualified for European competition). Since 1999, the DFB has always been entitled to enter a minimum of three clubs in the UEFA Cup/Europa League, and at times as many as four (the maximum for any European federation). Teams that entered via UEFA's Fair Play mechanism, or those that entered through the now-defunct Intertoto Cup, did not count against the national quota. From 2006 through the final Intertoto Cup in 2008, only one First Bundesliga side was eligible to enter the Intertoto Cup and possibly earn a UEFA Cup berth. For the 2005–06 season, the DFB earned an extra UEFA Cup place via the Fair Play draw; this place went to Mainz 05 as the highest-ranked club in the Fair Play table of the First Bundesliga not already qualified for Europe.
  • Cup Winners' Cup (abolished after 1999):
    • The winner of the DFB-Pokal entered the Cup Winners' Cup, unless that team was also league champion and therefore competing in the European Cup/Champions League, in which case their place in the Cup Winners' Cup was taken by the DFB-Pokal runner-up. Today, the DFB-Pokal winner (if not otherwise qualified for the Champions League) enters the UEFA Europa League.

Current members of the Bundesliga (2015–16 season)

Club Position in 2014–15 First Bundesliga season Number of seasons in Bundesliga First season of current spell Number of seasons of current spell Bundesliga titles National titles Last title
FC Augsburgb 5th 2011-12 5 2011-12 5 0 0 -
Bayer Leverkusenb 4th 1979-80 37 1979–80 37 0 0 -
Bayern Munichb 1st 1965–66 51 1965–66 51 24 25 2015
Borussia Dortmunda 7th 1963–64 49 1976-77 40 5 8 2012
Borussia Mönchengladbach 3rd 1965–66 48 2008–09 8 5 5 1977
Eintracht Frankfurta 9th 1963–64 47 2012–13 4 0 1 1959
FC Ingolstadtb 2.: 1st 2015-16 1 2015–16 1 0 0 -
Hamburger SVa b 16th 1963–64 53 1963–64 53 3 6 1983
Hannover 96 13th 1964–65 28 2002–03 14 0 2 1954
Hertha BSCa 15th 1963–64 33 2013–14 3 0 2 1931
TSG 1899 Hoffenheimb 8th 2008–09 8 2008–09 8 0 0 -
1. FC Kölna 12th 1963-64 45 2014–15 2 2 3 1978
1. FSV Mainz 05 11th 2004–05 10 2009–10 7 0 0 -
SV Darmstadt 98 2.: 2nd 1978–79 3 2015–16 1 0 0 -
Schalke 04a 6th 1963–64 48 1991–92 25 0 7 1958
VfB Stuttgarta 14th 1963–64 51 1977–78 39 3 5 2007
Werder Bremena 10th 1963–64 52 1981–82 35 4 4 2004
VfL Wolfsburgb 2nd 1997-98 19 1997–98 19 1 1 2009

a Founding member of the Bundesliga
b Never been relegated from the Bundesliga

Team Location Stadium Capacity[6]
FC Augsburg Augsburg SGL arena 30,660
Bayer Leverkusen Leverkusen BayArena 30,210
Bayern Munich Munich Allianz Arena 71,000
Borussia Dortmund Dortmund Signal Iduna Park 80,645
Borussia Mönchengladbach Mönchengladbach Stadion im Borussia-Park 54,010
Eintracht Frankfurt Frankfurt Commerzbank-Arena 51,500
FC Ingolstadt Ingolstadt Audi-Sportpark 15,000
Hamburger SV Hamburg Volksparkstadion 57,000
Hannover 96 Hannover HDI-Arena 49,000
Hertha BSC Berlin Olympiastadion 74,244
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim Sinsheim Wirsol Rhein-Neckar Arena 30,150
1. FC Köln Cologne RheinEnergieStadion 50,000
1. FSV Mainz 05 Mainz Coface Arena 34,000
SV Darmstadt 98 Darmstadt Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor 17,000
Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen Veltins-Arena 61,973
VfB Stuttgart Stuttgart Mercedes-Benz Arena 60,441
Werder Bremen Bremen Weserstadion 42,100
VfL Wolfsburg Wolfsburg Volkswagen Arena 30,000

Verdiente Meistervereine

In 2004, the honour of "Verdiente Meistervereine" (roughly “distinguished champion clubs”) was introduced, following a custom first practised in Italy[7] to recognize sides that have won multiple championships or other honours by the display of gold stars on their team badges and jerseys. Each country's usage is unique and in Germany the practice is to award one star for three titles, two stars for five titles, three stars for 10 titles, and four stars for 20 titles.

The former East German side Berliner FC Dynamo laid claim to the three stars of a 10-time champion. They petitioned the league to have their DDR-Oberliga titles recognized, but received no reply. Dynamo eventually took matters into their own hands and emblazoned their jerseys with three stars. This caused some debate given what may be the tainted nature of their championships under the patronage of East Germany's secret police, the Stasi. The issue also affects other former East German and pre-Bundesliga champions. In November 2005, the DFB allowed all former champions to display a single star inscribed with the number of titles, including all German men's titles since 1903, women's titles since 1974 and East German titles.[8]

The DFB format only applies to teams playing below the Bundesliga (below the top two divisions), since the DFL conventions apply in the Bundesliga. BFC Dynamo Berlin have not followed this guideline and continue to wear three stars, rather than a single star inscribed with the number 10. Greuther Fürth unofficially display three (silver) stars for pre-war titles in spite of being in the Bundesliga second division. These stars are a permanent part of their crest. However, Fürth has to leave the stars out on their jersey.

As of June 2010 the following clubs are officially allowed to wear stars while playing in the Bundesliga. The number in parentheses is for Bundesliga titles won.

In addition, a system of one star designation was adopted for use. This system is intended to take into account not only Bundesliga titles but also other (now defunct) national championships. As of July 2014, the following clubs are allowed to wear one star while playing outside the Bundesliga. The number in parentheses is for total league championships won over the course of German football history, and would be displayed within the star. Some teams listed here had different names while winning their respective championships, these names are also noted in parentheses.

* currently member of 1. Bundesliga
** currently member of 2. Bundesliga

Business model

In the 2009–10 season, the Bundesliga's turnover was €1.7bn, broken down into match-day revenue (€424m), sponsorship receipts (€573m) and broadcast income (€594m). That year it was the only European football league where clubs collectively made a profit. Bundesliga clubs paid less than 50% of revenue in players wages, the lowest percentage out of the European leagues. The Bundesliga has the lowest ticket prices and the highest average attendance out of Europe's five major leagues.[9]

While the English Premier League enjoys higher revenue growth thanks to a larger global fanbase (most Bundesliga clubs are not well known outside Germany) and skyrocketing television income (as the English have a less competitive pay-TV market), clubs spend a much greater percentage of revenue than their Bundesliga counterparts on player salaries. Bundesliga clubs tend to form close associations with local firms, several of which have since grown to big global companies; in a comparison of the leading Bundesliga and Premiership clubs, Bayern Munich received 55% of its revenue from company sponsorship deals, while Manchester United got 37%.[9][10][11][12]

Bundesliga clubs are required to be majority-owned by German club members (known as the 50+1 rule to discourage control by a single entity) and operate under tight restrictions on the use of debt for acquisitions (a team only receives an operating license if it has solid financials), as a result 11 of the 18 clubs were in the black after the 2008–09 season. By contrast the lax approach of the other major European leagues has resulted in several high profile teams coming under ownership of tycoons and Middle Eastern billionaires, and a larger number of clubs have high levels of debt.[11][12]

As a result of a limited talent pool, which caused the German national team to fare poorly at Euro 2000, the German Football Association and the Bundesliga mandated that all clubs run a youth academy, with the aim of bolstering the stream of local talent for the club and national team. As of 2010 the Bundesliga and second Bundesliga spend €75m a year on these youth academies, that train five thousand players aged 12–18, increasing the under-23-year-olds in the Bundesliga from 6% in 2000 to 15% in 2010. This allows more money to be spent on the players that are bought, and there is a greater chance to buy better instead of average players. By contrast, the English Premiership has lately been dominated by foreigners which strains the talent pool for the national team, and La Liga clubs have paid the record-breaking transfer fees to bring in foreign stars.[9][11][12]

In the last ten years, the Bundesliga is regarded as competitive, as five different teams have won the league title. This contrasts with Spain's La Liga which is dominated by the "Big Two" (Barcelona and Real Madrid), and the English Premier League which has seen the "Big Four" (Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal, though recently Liverpool has dropped off while the big-spending Manchester City has emerged as a contender) finish in the top four for a number of years.[13] This theory has been called into question because of Bayern Munich's dominance in the 2012–13 and 2013–14 season, as the Bavarian side is able to spend big to purchase the league's best players, and as they set new record in March 2014 by winning the league with 7 games to spare.[14][15]

Financial regulations

For a number of years, the clubs in the Bundesliga have been subject to regulations not unlike the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations agreed upon in September 2009.

At the end of each season, clubs in the Bundesliga must apply to the German Football Federation (DFB) for a licence to participate again the following year; only when the DFB, who have access to all transfer documents and accounts, are satisfied that there is no threat of insolvency do they give approval.[16] The DFB have a system of fines and points deductions for clubs who flout rules and those who go into the red can only buy a player after selling one for at least the same amount. In addition, no individual is allowed to own more than 49 percent of any Bundesliga club, the only exceptions being VfL Wolfsburg, Bayer Leverkusen and current Regionalliga Nordost member FC Carl Zeiss Jena should they ever be promoted to the Bundesliga as they were each originally founded as factory teams.[10]

Despite the good economic governance, there have still been some instances of clubs getting into difficulties. In 2004, Borussia Dortmund reported a debt of €118.8 million (£83 million).[17] Having won the Champions League in 1997 and a number of Bundesliga titles, Dortmund had gambled to maintain their success with an expensive group of largely foreign players but failed, narrowly escaping liquidation in 2006. In subsequent years, the club went through extensive restructuring to return to financial health, largely with young home-grown players. In 2004 Hertha BSC reported debts of £24.7 million and were able to continue in the Bundesliga only after proving they had long term credit with their bank.[17]

The leading German club FC Bayern Munich made a net profit of just €2.5 million in 2008–09 season (group accounts,[18] while Schalke 04 made a net loss of €30.4 million in 2009 financial year.[19] Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA, made a net loss of just €2.9 million in 2008–09 season.[20]


Borussia Dortmund has the highest average attendance at Signal Iduna Park of any football club in the world. The Bundesliga has the highest average attendance of any football league in the world.

Based on its per-game average, the Bundesliga is the best-attended association football league in the world; out of all sports, its average of 45,116 fans per game during the 2011–12 season was the second highest of any professional sports league worldwide, behind only the National Football League of the United States.[2] Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund has the highest average attendance of any football club in the world.[21]

Out of Europe's five major football leagues (Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, and Ligue 1), the Bundesliga has the second lowest ticket prices and the highest average attendance. Many club stadia have large terraced areas for standing fans (by comparison, stadia in the English Premier League are all-seaters due to the Taylor Report). Teams limit the number of season tickets to ensure everyone has a chance to see the games live, and the away club has the right to 10% of the available capacity. Match tickets often double as free rail passes which encourages supporters to travel and celebrate in a relaxed atmosphere. According to Bundesliga chief executive Christian Seifert, tickets are inexpensive (especially for standing room) as "It is not in the clubs' culture so much [to raise prices]. They are very fan orientated".[9][11][12] Uli Hoeneß, former president of Bayern Munich, was quoted as saying "We do not think the fans are like cows to be milked. Football has got to be for everybody. That's the biggest difference between us and England."[10]

The spectator figures for league for the last ten seasons:

Season Over all Average Best supported club Average
2005–06 [22] 12,478,319 40,779 Borussia Dortmund 72,808
2006–07 [23] 12,226,795 39,957 Borussia Dortmund 72,652
2007–08 [24] 12,069,813 39,444 Borussia Dortmund 72,510
2008–09 [25] 13,011,578 42,521 Borussia Dortmund 74,851
2009–10 [26] 13,001,871 42,490 Borussia Dortmund 77,246
2010–11 [27] 13,054,960 42,663 Borussia Dortmund 79,151
2011–12 [28] 13,805,514 45,116 Borussia Dortmund 80,521
2012–13 [29] 13,042,263 42,622 Borussia Dortmund 80,520
2013–14 [30] 13,311,145 43,500 Borussia Dortmund 80,297
2014–15 [31] 13,323,031 43,539 Borussia Dortmund 80,463

Media coverage

The Bundesliga is broadcast on TV in over 200 countries

The Bundesliga TV, radio, internet, and mobile broadcast rights are distributed by DFL Sports Enterprises, a subsidiary of the Deutsche Fußball Liga. The Bundesliga broadcast rights are sold along with the broadcast rights to the Bundesliga Relegation Playoffs, 2. Bundesliga and DFL-Supercup.[32] The Bundesliga is broadcast on TV in over 150 countries.

Domestically, Sky holds the rights to broadcast all first and second division matches on a pay television basis. Deutsche Telekom holds the IPTV rights. Only four matches – the season opener, the first match after the winter break, and both legs of the relegation playoff – are broadcast on free television, on ARD. Since August 2008 90elf holds the rights to broadcast all first and second division matches online and via Digital Audio Broadcasting.

The current international Bundesliga TV rights ran until 2015. In October 2013, 21st Century Fox, via the Fox Sports, Fox International Channels, and Sky plc divisions, acquired television and digital rights to the Bundesliga in 80 territories, including North America and Asia (outside of India and Oceania) for five years, and selected European territories for two years, beginning in the 2015-16 season. CEO James Murdoch explained that the deal was designed to "leverage our unrivaled global portfolio of sports channels to bolster the Bundesliga brand in every corner of the globe."[33][34]

As a result of this partnership, Fox Sports replaced GOL TV as United States rightsholder beginning in the 2015-16 season. Matches are broadcast by Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Fox Sports Networks and Fox Soccer Plus. Spanish-language telecasts air on Fox Deportes. Matches stream online for subscribers to these channels on participating providers via Fox Sports Go, and are also available through the subscription service Fox Soccer 2Go.[35][36] In Canada, broadcast rights were sub-licensed to Sportsnet and Sportsnet World.[37]

In the United Kingdom and in Ireland, the Bundesliga is broadcast live on BT Sport. ITV4 broadcasts delayed highlights the following Monday. This arrangement lasts through the 2017 season. In Spain, the Bundesliga is broadcast live on Movistar+.[38]


In total, 43 clubs have won the German championship, including titles won before the Bundesliga's inception and those in the East German Oberliga. The record champions are FC Bayern Munich with 25 titles, ahead of BFC Dynamo Berlin with 10 (all in East Germany) and 1. FC Nürnberg with 9.

The following 12 clubs have won the Bundesliga: FC Bayern Munich (24 titles), Borussia Mönchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund (5), Werder Bremen (4), Hamburger SV and VfB Stuttgart (3), 1. FC Köln and FC Kaiserslautern (2), TSV 1860 Munich, Eintracht Braunschweig, 1. FC Nürnberg and VfL Wolfsburg (1). No club from former East Germany or Berlin has won the Bundesliga.

Season Bundesliga Champion[39] Season Bundesliga Champion Season Bundesliga Champion Season Bundesliga Champion
63–64 1. FC Köln 77–78 1. FC Köln 91–92 VfB Stuttgart 05–06 FC Bayern Munich
64–65 SV Werder Bremen 78–79 Hamburger SV 92–93 SV Werder Bremen 06–07 VfB Stuttgart
65–66 TSV 1860 München 79–80 FC Bayern Munich 93–94 FC Bayern Munich 07–08 FC Bayern Munich
66–67 Eintracht Braunschweig 80–81 FC Bayern Munich 94–95 Borussia Dortmund 08–09 VfL Wolfsburg
67–68 1. FC Nürnberg 81–82 Hamburger SV 95–96 Borussia Dortmund 09–10 FC Bayern Munich
68–69 FC Bayern Munich 82–83 Hamburger SV 96–97 FC Bayern Munich 10–11 Borussia Dortmund
69–70 Borussia Mönchengladbach 83–84 VfB Stuttgart 97–98 1. FC Kaiserslautern 11–12 Borussia Dortmund
70–71 Borussia Mönchengladbach 84–85 FC Bayern Munich 98–99 FC Bayern Munich 12–13 FC Bayern Munich
71–72 FC Bayern Munich 85–86 FC Bayern Munich 99–00 FC Bayern Munich 13–14 FC Bayern Munich
72–73 FC Bayern Munich 86–87 FC Bayern Munich 00–01 FC Bayern Munich 14–15 FC Bayern Munich
73–74 FC Bayern Munich 87–88 SV Werder Bremen 01–02 Borussia Dortmund
74–75 Borussia Mönchengladbach 88–89 FC Bayern Munich 02–03 FC Bayern Munich
75–76 Borussia Mönchengladbach 89–90 FC Bayern Munich 03–04 SV Werder Bremen
76–77 Borussia Mönchengladbach 90–91 1. FC Kaiserslautern 04–05 FC Bayern Munich


Top Ten Players With Most Appearances[40]
Player Period Club(s) Games
1 Karl-Heinz Körbel 1972–1991 Eintracht Frankfurt 602
2 Manfred Kaltz 1971–1991 Hamburger SV 581
3 Oliver Kahn 1987–2008 Karlsruher SC, FC Bayern Munich 557
4 Klaus Fichtel 1965–1988 FC Schalke 04, SV Werder Bremen 552
5 Miroslav Votava 1976–1996 Borussia Dortmund, SV Werder Bremen 546
6 Klaus Fischer 1968–1988 TSV 1860 München, FC Schalke 04, 1. FC Köln, VfL Bochum 535
7 Eike Immel 1978–1995 Borussia Dortmund, VfB Stuttgart 534
8 Willi Neuberger 1966–1983 Borussia Dortmund, SV Werder Bremen, Eintracht Frankfurt 520
9 Michael Lameck 1972–1988 VfL Bochum 518
10 Uli Stein 1978–1997 Hamburger SV 512
Top Ten Goalscorers[41]
Player Period Club(s) Goals
1 Gerd Müller 1965–1979 FC Bayern Munich 365 (Ø 0,85)
2 Klaus Fischer 1968–1988 TSV 1860 München, FC Schalke 04, 1. FC Köln, VfL Bochum 268 (Ø 0.50)
3 Jupp Heynckes 1965–1978 Borussia Mönchengladbach, Hannover 96 220 (Ø 0.60)
4 Manfred Burgsmüller 1969–1990 Rot-Weiss Essen, Borussia Dortmund, 1. FC Nürnberg, SV Werder Bremen 213 (Ø 0.48)
5 Ulf Kirsten 1990–2003 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 182 (Ø 0.52)
6 Stefan Kuntz 1983–1999 VfL Bochum, Bayer Uerdingen, 1. FC Kaiserslautern, Arminia Bielefeld 179 (Ø 0.40)
7 Dieter Müller 1973–1986 1. FC Köln, VfB Stuttgart, 1.FC Saarbrücken 177 (Ø 0.58)
8 Klaus Allofs 1975–1993 Fortuna Düsseldorf, 1. FC Köln, SV Werder Bremen 177 (Ø 0.42)
9 Claudio Pizarro 1999– SV Werder Bremen, FC Bayern Munich 176 (Ø 0.47)
10 Hannes Löhr 1964–1977 1. FC Köln 166 (Ø 0.44)

See also


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  2. ^ a b Cutler, Matt (15 June 2010). "Bundesliga attendance reigns supreme despite decrease". Sport Business. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  4. ^ German National Television
  5. ^ "How everything got started". 16 August 2006. Retrieved 4 November 2008. 
  6. ^ Smentek, Klaus; et al. (11 August 2014). "kicker Bundesliga Sonderheft 2014/15".  
  7. ^ "FIFA awards special 'Club World Champion' badge to AC Milan". FIFA. 7 February 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "6 Durchführungsbestimmungen" [6 Implementing regulations] (PDF) (in German). p. 52. 
  9. ^ a b c d Jackson, Jamie (11 April 2010). "How the Bundesliga puts the Premier League to shame". Guardian. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c Evans, Stephen (23 May 2013). "BBC News – German football model is a league apart". Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d Weil, Jonathan (23 May 2013). "At Last, Germany Secures Total Dominance of Europe". Bloomberg. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c d Weil, Jonathan (22 May 2013). "Has German Soccer Conquered Europe? Not Quite". Bloomberg. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  13. ^ Lowe, Sid (4 May 2013). "Barcelona and Real Madrid are symbolic of Spain's pain". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  14. ^ Bennett, John (23 January 2014). "Are brilliant Bayern Munich making the Bundesliga boring?". BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  15. ^ "Bayern Munich: Bundesliga champions in numbers". BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). 26 March 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  16. ^ Daily Mail 9 October 2008
  17. ^ a b Daily Telegraph 17 November 2004
  18. ^
  19. ^ Archived August 20, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Watch" (PDF). FutbolYou-Bundesliga (in German). Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  21. ^ "2011–12 World Football Attendances – Best Drawing Leagues (Chart of Top-20-drawing national leagues of association football) / Plus list of 35-highest drawing association football clubs in the world in 2011–12.". 
  22. ^ Bundesliga 2005/2006 » Zuschauer (German), Spectator figures 2005–06, accessed: 2 June 2015
  23. ^ Bundesliga 2006/2007 » Zuschauer (German), Spectator figures 2006–07, accessed: 2 June 2015
  24. ^ Bundesliga 2007/2008 » Zuschauer (German), Spectator figures 2007–08, accessed: 2 June 2015
  25. ^ Bundesliga 2008/2009 » Zuschauer (German), Spectator figures 2008–09, accessed: 2 June 2015
  26. ^ Bundesliga 2009/2010 » Zuschauer (German), Spectator figures 2009–10, accessed: 2 June 2015
  27. ^ Bundesliga 2010/2011 » Zuschauer (German), Spectator figures 2010–11, accessed: 2 June 2015
  28. ^ Bundesliga 2011/2012 » Zuschauer (German), Spectator figures 2011–12, accessed: 2 June 2015
  29. ^ Bundesliga 2012/2013 » Zuschauer (German), Spectator figures 2012–13, accessed: 2 June 2015
  30. ^ Bundesliga 2013/2014 » Zuschauer (German), Spectator figures 2013–14, accessed: 2 June 2015
  31. ^ Bundesliga 2014/2015 » Zuschauer (German), Spectator figures 2014–15, accessed: 2 June 2015
  32. ^ "The core functions of the DFL". 
  33. ^ "21st Century Fox Takes Global Rights to German Soccer League". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  34. ^ "Rupert Murdoch buys further Bundesliga broadcast rights". DW. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  35. ^ "Bundesliga is getting strong coverage package on FOX Sports". SBNation. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  36. ^ "Fox Sports 2015-16 Bundesliga television schedule". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  37. ^ "Watch Germany’s Bundesliga on Sportsnet". Rogers Media. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  38. ^ "BT Sport extends Bundesliga rights deal until 2017". BT Sport. British Telecom. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  39. ^ "Deutsche Meister der Männer" (in German). Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  40. ^ "Germany – All-Time Most Matches Played in Bundesliga". RSSSF. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  41. ^ "(West) Germany – Top Scorers". RSSSF. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

  • Official website
  • DFB – Deutscher Fußball Bund (German Football Association) (German)
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