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FOX Sports Acquires US Media Rights to Bundesliga For 2015-2020

bundesliga logo FOX Sports Acquires US Media Rights to Bundesliga For 2015 2020

The Bundesliga have received a massive boost by agreeing a deal with 21st Century FOX whereby the German top flight league and DFL-Supercup will be shown on US television and Internet from the 2015-16 season and ending after the 2019-20 season.

GolTV currently has the rights to the Bundesliga through until the end of the 2014-15 season. However, many TV providers no longer carry the network on its sports packages, so the league isn’t as accessible as it ought to be.

21st Century FOX will presumably broadcast the Bundesliga on FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2Go, while some games may be shown on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2.

“Both on and off the pitch, the Bundesliga has grown to become one of the preeminent soccer leagues in the world,” added James Murdoch, deputy chief operating officer of 21st Century Fox. “We look forward to partnering with the DFL over the next five years to leverage our unrivaled global portfolio of sports channels to bolster the Bundesliga brand in every corner of the globe.”

The deal between the Bundesliga and FOX includes 306 league matches a season, as well as the DFL-Supercup and the Bundesliga relegation playoffs.

The new agreements will also see 21st Century Fox benefit from Sky Deutschland’s status as an Official Partner and domestic broadcaster of the Bundesliga in Germany. Sky Deutschland’s production resources will guarantee fans the full breadth and depth of Bundesliga coverage and editorial expertise, presented in a style suited to each region’s local preferences.

The announcement is excellent news for soccer fans in the United States. The Bundesliga is a very competitive and entertaining league to watch, and finally it’s going to be available to a larger audience who can enjoy what the league has to offer.

In the past, Fox Soccer Channel had the US media rights to the Bundesliga, where the 24/7 soccer network used to broadcast matches on Saturday mornings. In the United States, the Bundesliga rose to fame through the Soccer Made In Germany program that was televised on PBS, featuring classic commentaries by Toby Charles.

This entry was posted in FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, FOXSoccer2Go, Leagues: Bundesliga. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

26 Responses to FOX Sports Acquires US Media Rights to Bundesliga For 2015-2020

  1. Tayo Salako says:

    Sighs, once again they want to broadcast it on fox soccer plus… a channel that should have been taken off air!

    • Christopher Harris says:

      To be fair, FOX hasn’t issued any information about the news, only the Bundesliga has. So the mention of FOX Soccer Plus is conjecture. FOX probably won’t announce specific plans on where the games will be shown, so there’s no guarantee that FOX Soccer Plus will show games or not.

      • Christopher Harris says:

        I just received the press release from FOX, but it’s a joint release with the Bundesliga. But let me see what I can find out in regards to their plans of where they plan to show these games.

  2. Matt says:

    Can’t really get too excited as its still 2 years away, but the league deserves to be shown on some “mainstream” channel

  3. Cody (#2) says:

    I agree with Matt. Fox needs to show this on a mainstream channel. If viewers are forced to upgrade their cable/sat packages to top tier $$$ service, this will not be any more successful than the GolTV deal.

  4. Smokey Bacon says:

    Good move by Fox for a change. They will not waste the opportunity to compete with NBC on Saturday mornings by putting the games on soccer Plus. Bayern Munich on a channel nobody watches? It will be Fox Sports 1.

  5. Paul says:

    HOpe ESPN can get some games too.

  6. David says:

    The Friday game would definitely be on FS1.

    Saturday would be a little problematic- the early games would be OK (9:30 EST), but FS1 usually has college football and/or basketball games at noon, so the 12:30 games would have to go to FS2.

    Sunday would have a similar issue- the early games could be OK, but the late game could be a problem once college basketball starts.

  7. Who Cares? says:

    FOX Sports 2 is a complete wasteland on weekend mornings, with mostly taped UFC re-airs.

    In contrast, FOX Sports 1 is loaded with college football programming on Saturdays starting at 10am Eastern during the Autumn. NASCAR programming will dominate FS1 on Saturday mornings starting February.

    One should have no trouble figuring out that few if any Bundesliga matches will be on FOX Sports 1.

    One might hope for a handful of Bundesliga matches on FOX Sports 2 as filler, with most matches headed for FOX Soccer Plus (if it hasn’t been rebranded by 2015), FOXSoccer2Go.com (if it were still around by 2015) and the FOX Sports Go mobile app.

    • chrisbuda says:

      i think Fox might place a few games on FS1 maybe one or two slots per weekend before college football programing and move some of their nascar programing to FS2

  8. Who Cares? says:

    The press release itself:

    http://www.bundesliga.com/en/liga/news/2013/0000273588.php

    Basically, NewsCorp will “own” the video rights to the Bundesliga in many parts of the world.

    - USA (FS2, FOX Soccer Plus, FOXSoccer2Go.com, FOX Sports Go, etc.)
    - Brazil (FOX Sports Brasil)
    - (Spanish-speaking) Latin America (FS1, FS2, FS3)
    - Asia (FOX Sports, STAR Sports)
    - Japan (JSports 1, 2, 3, 4)
    - Italy (SKY Sport Italia)
    - Netherlands
    - Belgium

    “Tax management” and “synergy” (i.e. amortization of production and distribution costs) would be the two buzz words that pop off the top of my head.

  9. Porque? says:

    What will GOLTV do now to try to survive?

    Expiration dates of GOLTV’s media rights:

    Eredivisie (sublicense from ESPN) – May 2014
    Bundesliga – May 2015
    Brasileirao & Paulistao – December 2015
    Argentina (sublicense from TyC) – June 2014
    US Open Cup Final – October 2014
    Ascenso MX – ?

  10. Dominjon says:

    Fox launched two sports channels with nothing like the amount of content ESPN has for its 2. Plus it is massively in Fox’s interest to grow football support as they have future World Cup rights. I would expect at least the glamor games to be on fox sports 1 or 2.

    • Who Dat says:

      On the contrary…

      FOX Sports 1 will add Major League Baseball in 2014 on Thursdays and Saturdays.

      FOX is expected to blow away ESPN and/or Turner for half (or possibly all) of the U.S. video rights to the NBA when those rights are auctioned off soon.

      (Lots of “synergy” in play with the NBA now that NewsCorp has 100% control of FOX Sports/STAR Sports in Asia.)

      FOX should be the front-runner to take “ownership” of all B1G TEN Conference media rights starting 2016 when those rights are auctioned off. (ESPN currently has “Tier 1″ rights while FOX has the leftovers.)

      FOX has the UFC, which basically means that FOX has a virtual monopoly on MMA.

      Don’t be surprised if FOX were to bid for the Thursday night NFL package if and when the NFL decides to sell those rights.

  11. Martin J. says:

    With Gol TV struggling to get TV providers to carry them it might make sense for them to sublicense some games to Fox until Fox has sole ownership of Bundesliga rights in 2015. It will make the transition to Fox easier as well.

  12. Sebastian says:

    Wow Really? Showing it on Fox Soccer Plus is no different than showing it on Gol TV.Most people dont have fox soccer plus in their cable package. They need to actually cover the league on a channel that most people have, like what nbc is doing.

  13. David says:

    Another issue is that not everyone who has FS1 has access to FS2 right now…

  14. Proud Eurosnob says:

    Love this!

    If only this were to take effect sooner, but perhaps FOX should buy GolTV and we could start seeing Bayern Munchen and Borussia Dortmund on a regular basis.

    Just one question, does this deal omit the DFB Pokal and the Die Mannschaft friendlies?

  15. Leo says:

    I thought that Fox Soccer Plus was changing their name to Fox Rugby that no one ever watches Plus.

    They need to do something quick.

  16. Charles says:

    Hey Fox: here’s an idea: drop the “Plus” from Fox Soccer Plus and add the Bundesliga coverage to a non-premium channel. Seriously, $10 extra a month from DirecTV for one single channel is a little steep.

    As for online feeds, I’ll simply point to NBC’s Prem online presence and tell you to match it. If you can.

  17. nickp91 says:

    Can’t see GolTV surviving past 2015 Losing Bundesliga after already having lost La Liga

  18. Bernd says:

    The Pokal and National Team are definitely not included…those would be marketed by the DFB via the agency Infront.

    I have to think they’ll be putting at least a number of games on FS1/FS2, probably more of them in the spring when football ends. The Bundesliga already gives six games per matchday to its international broadcasters, most just don’t tend to show the full six. If they can get all of those games on the online/mobile platforms, that alone would be a massive boost for fans.

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