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.