DAZN agrees non-exclusive deal with DFL for rest of season
By Jonathan Rest
DAZN, the international over-the-top streaming service, has reached agreement with the DFL, the German soccer league, to continue showing Bundesliga matches for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.
The deal covers Germany and Switzerland and has been agreed in time for Friday's Berlin derby between Hertha and Union, albeit Sportcal understands the agreement is not exclusive and that online retail giant Amazon may also swoop for the package.
DAZN and Amazon both streamed Monday night's clash between Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen.
The Berlin derby will be the first of nine live matches that DAZN will carry between now and the end of the Bundesliga season, with four promotion-relegation matches between top-tier and second-tier 2. Bundesliga clubs to follow.
In addition to the live matches, DAZN will continue to provide highlights of all games from the top two divisions 40 minutes after the final whistle.
Thomas de Buhr, executive vice-president, DAZN DACH, said: "We look forward to continuing to present the Bundesliga live to all football fans. The next match is this Friday, with the highly-anticipated derby in the capital between Hertha BSC and Union Berlin. The health and safety of everyone involved remains our top priority in the preparation and execution of our coverage."
DAZN has a sub-licensing deal in place with Discovery-owned Eurosport to show 45 Bundesliga matches each season, which covers Friday, Sunday, Monday and play-off games. That deal, in theory, has another season to run, albeit the agreement announced today only runs to the end of the 2019-20 campaign.
However, after Eurosport, which originally paid €340 million ($373.9 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.
With Discovery seeking to terminate its media rights contract with the league, DAZN had to agree a direct deal with the DFL, which it did for this Monday's game.
The league made clear that was a one-off deal and that it was "in talks about other games," and indeed it emerged 24 hours later that Amazon would also stream the Bremen-Leverkusen game in Germany and Austria to Amazon Prime Video members at no additional cost.While that was the first time Amazon had dealt directly with the DFL, its Prime members have previously been able to watch Bundesliga matches through a distribution agreement with Discovery.