Rights options for DFL as Amazon makes Bundesliga streaming debut
Amazon, the online retail giant, made its Bundesliga streaming debut last night, striking a late deal with the DFL, the German soccer league, to show live coverage of Werder Bremen versus Bayer Leverkusen.
The game, which Leverkusen won comfortably 4-1, was made available in Germany and Austria to Amazon Prime Video members at no additional cost.
The match, the final game in the first round of fixtures in the Bundesliga resumption, was also shown on DAZN, a domestic rights-holder.
The OTT subscription streaming platform presently sub-licenses 45 Bundesliga matches each season from Eurosport, which covers Friday night, Sunday, Monday and play-off games. That deal has another season to run.
However, after Eurosport, which originally paid €340 million ($372.4 million) for those rights, did not reach agreement with the DFL related to its final €70-million outlay for this season, DAZN's ability to continue showing matches was in doubt.
DAZN only reached agreement with the DFL to show Monday night's game on Sunday, and the league had made clear it was a one-off deal and that it was "in talks about other games."The DFL will now be negotiating with interested parties ahead of the Berlin derby between Hertha and Union on Friday.
Amazon was not slated to enter the German soccer market until 2021-22, when its three-year deal for Tuesday night Uefa Champions League rights kicks-in. It will share those rights with DAZN, with pay-TV's Sky, the dominant Bundesliga rights-holder, missing out in the auction.
Amazon has also been linked with a bid for domestic Bundesliga rights in the 2021-22 to 2024-25 cycle. The rights are on the market and were due to be awarded this month, but the DFL has delayed the process until at least June because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, Javier Tebas, president of Spain's LaLiga, has revived the possibility of playing matches on Monday nights in order to complete the season.
LaLiga is hoping to resume its season on 12 June and with 11 rounds of fixtures to be played, Tebas told pay-TV channel
El Partidazo de Movistar, he wants matches on "every day of the week" to maximise content opportunities for the league's broadcasters.
However, last year there was a clash between LaLiga and the RFEF, after a judge ruled no matches could be played on Monday evenings.