Over-the-top (OTT) subscription service DAZN is plotting a move for the Bundesliga’s domestic rights during the next sales process, according to its German managing director.
The streaming platform, which operates in various markets, already holds highlights rights for German club soccer’s top tier, but will look to add live games to its ever-growing offering when the rights packages for the period from 2021/22 to 2024/25 go to auction.
“Of course we are also interested in the live rights of the Bundesliga,” said Thomas de Buhr, DAZN Germany’s managing director, speaking to Sport Bild. "The Bundesliga and also the 2. Bundesliga are enormously interesting for sports fans in the German-speaking countries, and we will look very closely at the form in which these rights can be reproduced on DAZN.”
The Bundesliga’s domestic rights are currently tied up until the end of the 2020/2021 season, with Sky Deutschland showing the bulk of live matches, while Eurosport airs a smaller bundle of games.
De Buhr told Sport Bild that DAZN would not be looking to compete with Sky for the main domestic package, which currently costs the pay-TV giant a whopping €876 million annually and would exceed DAZN’s budget – or force the company to raise the cost of subscriptions. Instead, DAZN is eyeing up the kind of bundle currently held by Discovery-owned Eurosport, which pays approximately €70 million per season to show 45 games.
“At the end of the day, the rights must also be economically viable for us,” De Buhr added. “A rights package that would force us to raise the price [of a subscription] to €30 a month makes no sense to us.”
Should DAZN secure Bundesliga coverage it would add to the network’s burgeoning portfolio of soccer rights in Germany, which includes 110 Uefa Champions League games each season for €100 million.
DAZN has ramped up its global expansion over the past 12 months, launching in the US and Italy with an array of rights to combat sports and soccer. The company also operates in Austria, Japan, Switzerland and Canada, and is due to launch in Spain and Brazil later this year.