Sky and ARD retain DFB Pokal rights as Sport1 picks up four games
By Martin Ross
Sky Deutschland, the German pay-TV broadcaster, has retained rights to show all matches from the DFB Pokal, German soccer’s knockout clubs competition, until the end of the 2021-22 season.
Sky’s new deal was announced today, along with the retention of rights by ARD, the public-service broadcaster, and the addition of Sport1, the Constantin Medien-owned sports broadcaster, and Axel Springer, the publishing group, as new rights-holders.
From the 2019-20 campaign onwards, Sky will broadcast all 63 matches live each season in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, including exclusive live coverage of 50 games.
In addition to live rights across all platforms (cable, satellite, IPTV, internet and mobile), Sky has secured highlights clips from all matches to show on its digital channels and the free-to-air Sky Sport News HD channel.
Domestic rights to the DFB Pokal are presently shared by Sky and ARD in three-year deals that expire at the end of next season and which represented a significant increase on the €34 million ($41.9 million) per season raised from the previous deals with the pair.
ARD has retained rights to nine live matches per season, including both semi-finals and the final, plus a highlights package and the women’s DFB Pokal.
Sport1 has landed rights to show four matches per season on its free-to-air channel, securing one game per round up until the quarter-finals. Rights to show highlights of all DFB Pokal games on the following day have also been acquired by Sport1.
Along with Sky and Sport1, Axel Springer, the publisher of the popular Bild newspaper and website, has bought a package of clips rights for digital platforms.
Friedrich Curtius, the DFB’s general secretary, said that the federation has generated a “significant increase” in the value of the domestic media rights through the agreements with the quartet.
At the start of February, the DFB, the German soccer federation, and its agency partner Infront launched the invitation to tender process for the tournament’s domestic broadcast rights, and set a first-round bid deadline of 15 March.
In 2016, ARD signed off on a new rights deal that allowed it show nine matches per season live (from 2016-17 to 2018-19), up from eight previously.
ARD drew an average of 9.8 million viewers for the final of last season’s DFB Pokal, in which Borussia Dortmund beat Eintracht Frankfurt, with a further 300,000 tuning in on Sky Deutschland.
Axel Springer held Bundesliga clip rights in a four-year deal that expired at the end of last season.
The Bild subscription service launched in 2013 following Axel Springer’s acquisition of the digital clips rights in a four-year deal worth €5.5 million per season.