Fox to Broadcast Bundesliga in the US Bundesliga fans will soon have the chance to watch their favorite World Cup stars, like goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, play regularly. With the first Bundesliga match looming just around the corner, US soccer fans will have unprecedented access to their favorite German teams this season.
For the first time ever, Bundesliga games will be broadcast live on US televisions via Fox Sports. In prior years, international contracting of the games was licensed to one net company, with minimal coverage in the US. Now, Fox Sports and ESPN both have rights to broadcast games in 32 North and Central American countries. Bayern Munich will host Hamburger SV for the first Bundesliga match of the season on August 14. In the US, it will be shown live at 2:30 PM on Fox Sports 2.
With the World Cup win in 2014, Germany has become one of the worldwide leaders in soccer. Some of the World Cup players play in international leagues, but many remain in German Bundesliga, meaning fans of the World Cup team can now watch their favorite players virtually all year round. In addition to broadcasting the games, Fox Sports has set up a website with clips, stats and standings that will be available all year long. On third party websites, Fantasy Leagues are already conducting drafts and setting lineups for the 53rd Bundesliga season.
The five-year agreement with Fox is starting out strong, to many fans’ delight. This season, Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 will broadcast 118 Bundesliga games. There will be a half-hour pregame discussion before each match, as with most US broadcasts. Within five years, both the German Football Association and Fox expect the Bundesliga to be one of the most popular soccer leagues among US fans. “Both on and off the pitch, the Bundesliga has grown to become one of the preeminent soccer leagues in the world,” James Murdoch, Deputy COO of 21st Century Fox, said when the deal was first finalized in 2013. “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.”
In Latin America, the devotion to soccer is already there – Fox’s challenge is to excite interest for the German League. The German World Cup win in Brazil amassed a lot of attention in South and Central America – not all of it positive – but with 105 games available in the region via Fox Sports, interest is certain to grow. Fox will also broadcast these games in the US, which has an ever-growing Spanish-speaking population.
Courtesy The Week in Germany (www.germany.info). Photo © picture alliance / Sven Simon.