FOX Sports will broadcast two high-profile Bundesliga matches live on its over-the-air FOX network in the US during the first two months of 2016. The matches will be Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich and Stuttgart vs. Hamburg.
The matches will be the first of eight that FOX plans to feature on its over-the-air network during the second half of the 2015/16 Bundesliga season. The schedule of the other six games, which will be played from March through May, will be disclosed at a later date.
The first live match will be Stuttgart vs. Hamburg, which will be shown on Saturday, January 30 from 12-2:30pm ET. Then, one week later, it’s Bayer Leverkusen versus Bayern Munich on Saturday, February 6 from 12-2:30pm ET.
Currently, with two weekends to go in the Bundesliga before the winter break begins, Bayern Munich are five points ahead atop the Bundesliga table. Leverkusen are in eighth place and in the Europa League, while Stuttgart are last but one in the table. Hamburg, meanwhile, are 9th out of 20 teams in Germany’s top flight division.
On September 13, 2015, FOX televised a Bayern Munich-Augsburg game on tape delay next to a Sunday NFL broadcast. That match was watched by 926,000 viewers, so the hopes are that the live games in 2016 will break that US Bundesliga record.
How much of a difference will the TV viewing numbers will be for the Leverkusen-Bayern and Stuttgart-Hamburg games? A lot of it will depend on which games featuring Premier League clubs will be shown at the same time. On January 30, the Stuttgart-Hamburg game will be played at the same time as one of the FA Cup 4th Round matches. We won’t know the teams until early January after the FA Cup 3rd Round is completed. Interestingly, FOX Sports owns the TV rights to the FA Cup in the US, so a high-profile FA Cup game on FOX Sports 1 could end up diminishing the viewing numbers for the Bundesliga game on FOX.
Meanwhile, the Leverkusen-Bayern game will be shown at the same time as a Premier League matchup to be determined (the Premier League hasn’t decided yet which game will be moved into the 12:30-2:30pm ET timeslot for that day). From among the Premier League games that weekend, Leverkusen-Bayern could easily clash with Chelsea against Manchester United, Manchester City vs. Leicester or a different game.
Leverkusen, by the way, will be in Florida in January playing a series of friendlies during the winter break.
Soccer fans in the US can watch the Bundesliga on FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and FOX Soccer 2GO as well as select games on FOX.
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