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German Pubweb ZDF Renews Champions League Rights Through 2018

Bayern Dortmund Split 1- H 2013
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The 2013 Champions League final drew record ratings in Germany.

The 2013 Champions League final between German sides Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, drew a record 21.6 million viewers in Germany.

Just days after 21st Century Fox's German pay TV group Sky Deutschland renewed its deal with top European soccer tournament the Champions League, German public broadcaster ZDF has also reupped, extending its free-TV deal with Euro soccer body UEFA to carry select Champions League matches through to 2018.

The deal gives ZDF the right to air 18 Champions League games per season free-to-air in Germany. The German pubweb will carry Wednesday matches as well as the Champions League final and the Supercup match.

The Champions League, the club tournament which pairs off the top soccer teams across Europe, is a guaranteed ratings winner in Germany. Wednesday's first round match between German side Borussia Dortmund and France's Olympique Marseille drew 8.29 million viewers on ZDF.

This year's final, which for the first time featured two German sides in Dortmund and eventual champions Bayern Munich, scored a recorded 21.6 million viewers, an astounding 61.9 percent market share.

ZDF has been the free-TV broadcaster of Champions League games in Germany since 2011, when they snatched the rights away from commercial broadcaster Sat.1.