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Bundesliga excited and ready to help FOX Sports’ TV coverage

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The 2015-16 Bundesliga season will be the first of a five-year deal to show the top flight German league on US television. The new rights holder, FOX Sports, hasn’t released any details yet regarding its coverage plans, but World Soccer Talk recently sat down with DFL Sports Enterprises Managing Director Jörg Daubitzer to discuss how the Bundesliga will help FOX, as well as what soccer fans can look forward to.

Speaking in Miami at the Sportel America conference, Daubitzer shared his excitement regarding the upcoming greater distribution of the league in the States. “FOX Sports will make sure that more matches are broadcasted on the traditional TV channels or on the digital side, so this means a lot more opportunities for fans to see the games.”

Many soccer fans in the United States have a long history of admiration for the German league — from the days of the TV show Soccer Made In Germany on PBS in the 1980s with Toby Charles, through to the Bundesliga coverage on Fox Soccer Channel in the 2000s with Max Bretos and Allen Hopkins, as well as the coverage on GolTV in later years, which unfortunately has been hampered by GolTV being dropped by many TV providers.

To move the Bundesliga to the next level in the United States, the league is ready to help FOX Sports.

“FOX Sports will have a lot of opportunities to get separate material from the Bundesliga, like the news magazines, etc,” said Daubitzer. “At this stage, there are many discussions about what to do, and how to do it. Our intention is to help and support them wherever we can because we know that the broadcasters have a big impact on the relevancy of our league and games.

“We are flexible wherever we can to support our partners [so they can] have the biggest success they want. One of the reasons why we chose FOX Sports is because we know that they could handle the property and build it up. They do it via every available platform. They know how to play the game, and I think they know it better than us.”

Asked about the rising number of US National Team players plying their trade in Germany, and how the Bundesliga can help FOX Sports tell their stories, the league is ready to assist.

“I think there’ll be a lot of opportunities,” said Daubitzer. “For example, if they want to have more footage or interviews of [the US national players playing in Bundesliga], we will support where we can.

“You should keep in mind that the major broadcaster in Germany is Sky Deutschland. And they’re one of the companies in the 21st Century empire (including FOX Sports).

“Sky Deutschland has a 24/7 news channel in Germany, and they have so much content and material that I’m sure that they’re able to help each other with footage and interviews.”

Among fans of Bundesliga clubs in the United States, one of the concerns they’ve expressed is that FOX Sports may favor showing Bayern Munich games on television, to the detriment of lesser known Bundesliga clubs who may find those games only on FOX Soccer 2GO or not shown at all.

“We always have to find the right balance between treating all clubs as similar as possible,” said Daubitzer.

“On the other hand, we sold our rights very expensively to a partner. FOX Sports has the right to broadcast the most important matches. More matches will be broadcasted than before, so I think there won’t be so [many] risks that some [teams] will be falling out completely.

“The smaller clubs, or the not so well-known clubs, understand that it’s important to have flagships. And flagships usually are a little more preferred but [the smaller clubs] are taking benefit out of that as well.”

Given that Germany are world champions and its teams are successful on the European stage, there’s a lot of renewed interest in the German top-flight league. Plus there are many other advantages that will be appealing to American audiences.

“The most important aspect of the Bundesliga is that the league is highly entertaining,” added Daubitzer. “The games are very attractive because on average we see the most goals in the Bundesliga when compared to any other league in the world.

“This means that they will see offensive football. They will see attractive football with a great mixture of young and talented players, and even international stars. They will find successful teams from the Champions League. It’s the right mixture between the attractiveness on the field and the attention to have a sustainable business model.

“This is the best attended soccer league in the world. In professional sports, there’s only one league beyond that — the National Football League. This means [there’s an] exciting atmosphere [and] ‘pure football feeling’ — which is important as well but not only for the spectators in the stadium but for the viewers at home.”

The 2015-16 Bundesliga season will debut on FOX Sports in August, 2015.

 

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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. T. A.

    July 31, 2015 at 5:19 am

    At least we’ll get the proper highlights show now unlike what aired on GolTV’s retched Hallo Bundesliga!

  2. cky27

    July 21, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Is it known (or expected) that games will be shown either live or as re-runs on local Fox Sports Net outlets?

    • Christopher Harris

      July 21, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      Nothing has been mentioned regarding that. I wouldn’t bet on it.

  3. Thyname

    July 16, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Putting Bundesliga on Fox Soccer Plus is a huge mistake! Nobody will pay $15 to $20 per month for a single channel just for Bundesliga. I will not! If they do this, I bet you they will have lower viewing numbers than last year with GolTV. It is so sad….

    • Civrock

      July 17, 2015 at 1:39 am

      Agreed. I just saw that the first couple of games are scheduled to be on FS Plus, other games still listed as TBD, which is a bad sign. I have DirecTV and the channel is available to me but not worth its current price. I’ll never understand why they didn’t just add it to the Sports Pack back when the channel was first launched.

      Sigh… I was hoping to finally get to see live games of my favorite team (Borussia Dortmund!) here on US TV since GolTV was dropped by DirecTV a while back.

      • BigDrop

        July 24, 2015 at 11:58 pm

        FoxSoccerPlus is NOT in HD on Verizon and not available on Comcast. It is also a $15 a month upcharge and, again, NOT in HD.

  4. Armando

    April 4, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    I think the Bundesliga will be on Fox Sports 2, they want a product to be the flagship for that channel so that everyone carries it like they do with ESPN/ESPN 2. I think they need to make their online service cheaper, I think if you pay a year in advance it still cost 14 or 15 dollars or 20 dollars a month

    They should look at the Be In Sport example, they let you go back a week to watch their games on Sling TV and Dishworld (Now Sling International). They have the channel on traditional cable/satellite distribution plus online subscriptions and they got a 2.1 million people to watch El Clasico. And the Liverpool vs Man U got 1.2 million people to watch the game with the game only on NBC platforms. In other words, make your product to the largest amount of people first then when you get the ratings you will make your money back.

    Also, don’t forget that Fox Deportes also shows matches and a lot of them. I think for non-Spanish speakers they may have English available using the SAP button.

    I have Sling TV and use to have DishWorld, I’m hoping they add a Fox Sports and NBC sports package next because I want to be able to watch the Premier League and the Bundesliga and of course the Champions League.

  5. NashRambler

    March 27, 2015 at 12:08 am

    Yes, my fear is that the matches will be relegated to Fox Sports 2 and Fox Soccer Plus which means most cable subscribers, myself included, will have zero opportunity to watch the Bundesliga.

    Herr Daubitzer may be in for a rude awakening when his overly optimistic expectation for increased Bundesliga exposure in America is shortchanged by Fox Sports.

    • Brian

      March 27, 2015 at 9:55 am

      The only way Bundesliga gets better exposure is if Fox sublicenses games to ESPN. FS1 and FS2 won’t be able to show enough games due to all their other American sports coverage.

  6. CTBlues

    March 26, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    You forgot April to September Saturday afternoons also has MLB games on FS1.

  7. not on fs1

    March 26, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Time to lower expectations.

    There is little chance Bundesliga will air on FS1 due to conflicts.

    August-December:

    Friday afternoons – NASCAR Truck Series
    Saturday mornings – College football pregame show
    Saturday afternoons – College football (Big 12 & Conference USA
    Sunday mornings – NFL pre-pre-game show
    Sunday afternoons – Big East Conference women’s sports (mostly volleyball)

    January – May

    Friday afternoons – NASCAR truck series or NASCAR practice sessions
    Saturday mornings – NASCAR practice sessions
    Saturday afternoons – Big East men’s college basketball or NASCAR Xfinity Series
    Sunday mornings – NASCAR Sprint Cup pre-pre-race show

    I would expect some Bayern Munich matches on FS2, with the rest dumped on Fs+ & Fs2go

    • Gustav

      October 2, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      Looking like this prediction turned out to be utterly and completely wrong. I watch at least 2-3 Bundesliga matches a week, and I don’t even keep track of when they’re on.

  8. Brian

    March 26, 2015 at 10:33 am

    The problem with Fox is that you have to pay for their online service. If they made it free, like NBC, then that will allow people to watch more Bundesliga games. Also, Fox Soccer Plus is not available on most cable providers.

    Let’s see how they do with their programming on Fox Sports 1 and 2.

    • yespage

      March 26, 2015 at 12:08 pm

      The biggest problem is their online service is too expensive, for the content provided, and not reliable enough.

      With FSC, there was a platform for showing a lot of football. Without FSC, there are too many programming conflicts. FS+ is in SD for many, costs too much for what is provided for many.

    • CTBlues

      March 26, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      It’s a shame that they have two different internet services FoxSoccer2Go and FoxSportsGo which I believe is like WatchESPN/ESPN3.com.

      • yespage

        March 26, 2015 at 12:46 pm

        FoxSportsGo is about general programming. FoxSoccer2Go20minutesAheadInTheGameAndThenBack20MinutesInAGame covers a niche product, which I can understand them wanting money for. The problem is their service wasn’t worth $20 a month when they had the EPL, especially because of their poor streaming reliability. Watching a game that zips 20 minutes ahead, and then 19 minutes back. How is that even possible?!

    • Harry Cee

      March 27, 2015 at 7:39 am

      This is the question I have as well. How will the mobile component be set up? Fox could lose a lot of ground to NBC if they don’t offer a comparative package. NBC’s mobile and online component is tops right now…but hey, you can’t beat free.

  9. Firas Shadad

    March 26, 2015 at 9:57 am

    There should be at least 5 live matches every week. That’s what GolTV has now.
    One on Friday and two on Saturday and Sunday. Add another one on Monday if the BL decide to add one there.

    Fox has many platforms and there should be no excuse not have at least these 5 matches live.

    • TL

      July 16, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      I completely agree. They have to show the Friday games, and hope that Bayern have as many Friday night games as possible. Bayern fans will be forced to watch on Friday, and other teams will get exposure on the weekends. They have to push the entire league, teams such as Hoffenheim and Schalke as well as lower tier teams like Mainz or Ent. Franfurt. I’m interested to see how they balance it. Because you almost have to show 1 Bayern match a week. Dortmund and Schalke will get a lot of airtime as well. The whole league is well balanced, and scoring and attendance are high like the spokesman said, so I think the BL on fox will take off. Lets hope Fox manages it well. Plus I like the some of analysts on fox like Alexi Lallas

  10. Eplnfl

    March 25, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    This news again proves that being in the US may be the best place to watch soccer/football on TV. Hope Fox does a quality job like NBC has done with the EPL.

    I am guessing this may be a sign that NBC will keep the EPL.

    • frremdn

      July 12, 2015 at 9:29 am

      “Hope Fox does a quality job like NBC has done with the EPL.”

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Yeah, don’t hold your breath.

  11. Ivan

    March 25, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    So, I would expect to see at least 2 games live every weekend on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 (please no Fox Sports Plus), and the rest would be available onto online platforms. With review and preview shows as well.

    Does that sound like a legitimate guess?

    Bundesliga does have a Friday game and the kickoff on Saturday is at 9:30am EST, which shouldn’t clash with any other major sporting events to which Fox owns the tv rights…

    • Kobashi

      March 25, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      I’d like to see FOX commit to is promising that every Bundesliga game will air on TV each week that are produced in English. Even if it is on FS+ in the overnight hours on delay during the week that every game they have access to will air. That to me is a commitment to the product. It isn’t like FS+ has anything of more interest than the BL currently.

      I really enjoyed the Bundesliga when FOX Sports World aired the game of the week on Saturday Morning after the early Prem Game and before the 12:30p Prem kickoff. There was the on season when Ailton tore up the league w/Werder Bremen. That was back n the day when FOX didn’t have the rights to the 10am Saturday Morning Games.

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