The German Football Association (DFB) governing body has today (July 29) announced multiple international broadcast deal updates for the 2022-26 cycle of the domestic men’s DFB-Pokal knockout cup competition.

It has also announced that the tournament, which gets underway today, will be aired in markets without an existing broadcast deal in place by the DFB’s in-house ‘DFB Play’ over-the-top platform, which will initially be free.

In 24 countries across the Middle East and North Africa, the DFB has entered into a new deal for the 2022-23 to 2025-26 cycle through which the Dubai Sports Channel will show at least 25 games per season live on linear TV, whilst the remaining fixtures will be broadcast “via various channels and digital platforms.”

In terms of other new deals, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV has acquired a rights package covering 10 ultra high-definition games per season.

The DFB is now marketing the rights to the DFB-Pokal itself having split with Infront, the international sports marketing agency, in 2020, bringing to an end a 40-year relationship between the organizations.

Additional new network partners onboard include Kompas TV in Indonesia, Coupang in South Korea, Macau’s M+ (in a deal separate to the CCTV tie-up), and pay-TV heavyweight Sky Italia.

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The DFB has also struck a number of renewals, including with Hong Kong Cable Television, Measat Astro in Malaysia, Israel’s Charlton, Ziggo in the Netherlands, and Premier Sports in both the UK and Ireland.

Expanded partnerships, meanwhile, include the arrangement with over-the-top subscription service DAZN being enlarged from solely covering Japan into Canada, the agreement with Eleven Sports covering Portugal as well as Belgium, and the partnership with Saran Media Group now incorporating a range of central Asian countries in addition to Turkey.

DFB Play, meanwhile, will be available online, at dfbplay.tv, and through mobile apps on both Apple and Android phones.

Domestically, DFB-Pokal coverage between 2022-23 and 2025-26 will be provided by a combination of pay-TV’s Sky Deutschland, which will have rights to all games, and by both Germany’s ARD and ZDF public-service broadcasters.

ARD and ZDF, which used the SportA rights agency to broker the deal, will hold live rights to 15 matches between them, up from 13 under the previous deal, while Sky will show all 63.

DAZN and the dedicated Sport1 broadcaster, meanwhile, will hold rights to show highlights (the following day) after each round of matches, as will ARD and ZDF.

The DFB’s board has agreed unanimously to not strike a new rights deal for the competition in Russia, having let the previous deal with Match TV expire at the end of the 2021-22 campaign in May. The DFB has said this is “due to the current political situation” of Russia’s continuing occupation of Ukraine. 

The opening match of this year’s tournament will see perennial title contenders Borussia Dortmund take on third-tier side 1860 Munich.

There are planned structural changes to the DFB-Pokal for the 2022-23 season onwards, with the number of top games increasing from 13 to 15, as the German Supercup, contested by the champions of the cup competition and the top-tier Bundesliga, will be played on the weekend of the first main round.

The two clubs involved in the Supercup – this year, RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich – will play their first-round games on a Tuesday and Wednesday in September.

In addition, the schedule calls for three rounds to be played before the winter break and three after, meaning that there will no longer be a break of up to three months between the second round and the round of 16.

Last month, IMG Arena, the betting arm of the international sports and entertainment giant, entered into a multi-year streaming and data rights tie-up with the DFB-Pokal.

The deal is now active, and will entail the “distribution of the content to IMG Arena’s global network of sportsbook operators.”

Although a new arrangement, the deal is an expansion of an existing relationship between the DFB and IMG Arena. The pair also collaborate around the third-tier 3. Liga and the women’s top-tier Frauen-Bundesliga in a similar data rights agreement. 

The DFB began the tender process for allocating these global betting data and audiovisual betting streaming rights for the 2022-23 to 2025-26 Pokal cycle in early May.

The tender covered all worldwide markets, except for the audiovisual betting streaming package, which misses out the US and the three European German-speaking markets of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.