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Uptick in coronavirus infection rates could put Bundesliga broadcasts in jeopardy

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Television production teams could face a lot of roadblocks now that 7-day infection rates are on the rise across Germany.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

There’s no disguising the fact that Europe is experiencing a second wave of sorts of the coronavirus as the 7-day infection rate has been increasing in most countries, Germany included. Germany as a whole, of course, has done rather well since the outbreak of the pandemic back in the late winter/early spring, but even with the strict hygienic protocols in place by the DFL, the Bundesliga isn’t impervious to the rise in cases throughout the continent.

Per the latest edition of kicker (via Az), the television broadcasting for the Bundesliga could be in serious jeopardy as coronavirus infection rates are rising across Germany. Cameramen, reporters, and production technicians will not be allowed inside stadiums if they are coming from high-risk areas, and the number of high-risk, high-infection-rate areas is increasing.

That includes Munich, where the 7-day infection rate is higher than “critical” as deemed by the Robert Koch Institute. Currently, the infection rate is 50.6 (per 100,000) in Munich, which is one of the highest in Germany along with Berlin and Cologne.

BUNDESLIGA - FC Bayern Muenchen v Hertha BSC Photo by Jan-Philipp Burmann/City-Press via Getty Images

Commentary teams could also be in as much jeopardy as television production teams covering Bundesliga matches. One of the main causes for concern is the fact that most punditry studios are based in cities with high infection rates and are thus coming from high-risk areas. Sky’s studios are based in Unterföhring near Munich and the “Sportschau” studio is located in Cologne, just as two specific examples.

Commentators from such outlets would not be allowed in stadiums under the current guidelines, so they might have to explore the option of commentating remotely. “It could be that our commentators do not comment from the stadium, but from the studio,” said ARD sports coordinator Axel Balkausky. “As long as the production company Sportscast delivers pictures of the game, the sports show will also take place,” he continued.

Borussia Dortmund’s 4-0 win over SC Freiburg on October 3rd was marked by the refreshing opportunity to have 11,500 fans inside the Westfalenstadion, which was the highest attendance we’ve seen in the Bundesliga since its restart in May. However, that trend now seems like it’s going to go downward. Stadium crews already have to decrease the number of ball collectors, paramedics, stewards, and greenskeepers at their venues, so crowd capacity will also take a hit. It’s an unfortunate reality, but the DFL is ready to do everything in their power to keep matches as safe as possible for everyone involved.

Borussia Dortmund v Sport-Club Freiburg - Bundesliga Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images