21st Century Fox Takes Global Rights to German Soccer League
COLOGNE, Germany – 21st Century Fox has signed a multiyear deal with Germany's top-flight soccer league to carry Bundesliga matches across 80 territories, including North America.
Financial details of the deal, which Fox announced Monday, were not disclosed but the agreement is certain to boost the financial might of the Bundesliga, whose revenues lag behind those of richer leagues in England and Spain, despite considerable success on the field. This year's final of the UEFA Champions League, Europe's No. 1 club tournament, was contested by two German squads: Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, with Bayern winning the Champions League cup.
"Both on and off the pitch, the Bundesliga has grown to become one of the preeminent soccer leagues in the world," said James Murdoch, deputy COO 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 Fox deal will see the group take Bundesliga rights in Asia and North and South America for a five-year term and for two years in select European territories including Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The agreement spans three divisions of 21st Century Fox: Fox International Channels, Fox Sports and Sky Italia, all of which will leverage their strength in their respective territories.
Under the terms of the agreements, 21st Century Fox will be granted exclusive rights, subject to certain reserved rights, to the Bundesliga in the Americas and Asia -- excluding India and the Oceania region.
The deal kicks off with the 2015-16 season and includes rights to all 306 Bundesliga matches per year, as well as the Deutsche Fussball Liga Supercup and relegation playoff matches. 21st Century Fox will also have digital distribution rights, allowing them to repackage Bundesliga content for online TV and mobile services.
Fox is already the Bundesliga's main partner in Germany, through its pay-TV platform Sky Deutschland, which last year signed a deal for the 2013-2017 seasons valued at more than $2.6 billion (€1.94 billion).