Returning Austrian Bundesliga to get weekly live FTA airing in ORF-Sky pact
ORF, the public-service broadcaster in Austria, has agreed a sub-licensing deal with pay-television operator Sky to ensure some free-to-air coverage of the Bundesliga, when the domestic soccer season returns next month following the coronavirus-enforced suspension.
The Bundesliga will return on 2 June behind closed doors, with 63 matches of the 2019-20 season remaining.
ORF has acquired 15 games from Sky on a non-exclusive basis, with the pay-TV broadcaster to also show those games.
Christian Ebenbauer, chairman of the Bundesliga, said: “In the current special situation, in which no spectators can go to the stadiums, access to the Austrian Football Bundesliga on TV should be as broad as possible. This has been achieved thanks to the constructive negotiations between our TV partner Sky and ORF. We look forward to the finals and the broadcasts on prime time.”
According to reports in Austria, ORF was willing to pay Sky in excess of €5 million ($5.46 million) for the games.
The package includes 10 games from the master group and five from the qualification group - the league splits in two after 22 games with the top six battling for the title and European places, and the bottom six fighting to avoid relegation.
The three matches in the master group usually kick off at 2.30pm (CET) on Sundays but with the warmer temperatures in June and July, a decision has been taken for two matches to start at 5pm and one at 7.30pm.
The three qualification games will continue to kick off at 5pm on Saturdays.
For midweek fixtures, the qualification group will play on Tuesdays with the master group on Wednesdays. On both days, there will be two games starting at 6.30pm and one at 8.30pm.
Sky will show the one-legged semi-final and two-legged final of the Europa League play-offs to determine Austria's third participant in European soccer's secondary clubs competition.
Sky's four-year deal with the Bundesliga to 2021-22 is worth €32 million per season, and it sold rights to four live games per season to A1 TV, the IPTV service.
ORF holds highlights rights, together with oe24.TV, the online portal of the Österreich newspaper, and Laola1, the Austria-based streaming service.
The return of the Tipico Bundesliga will be preceded by the ÖFB Cup final on 29 May, which ORF will show live.